Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

The King by Kader Abdolah; book review

A boy enters a palace of a hundred rooms where an assassin may lurk behind every door and shadowy figures are reflected in a Hall of Mirrors.  An astonishing treasure lies at its heart, but powerful enemies are at the gates.

Glory and B*llocks, By Colin Brown - paperback review

Colin Brown investigates 10 defining events in British history – such as the signing of Magna Carta, the Battle of Agincourt, Queen Elizabeth I’s pre-Armada speech to the troops at Tilbury, and the Falklands war – and explores the truth behind the myth. Magna Carta was not a charter for individual liberty, but a concession wrung from King John to protect the privileges of the barons. Our view of it owes much to the way it was used in the 17th century by Edward Coke to challenge Charles I’s claim to rule by Divine Right, and the fact that it was an inspiration for the American Declaration of Independence.

The Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy. Millions of years ago the pale peaks and pinnacles of the Dolomites lay on the seabed; now they are among the world’s most distinctive mountainscapes.

Breathtaking images from the 'Lonely Planet's Beautiful World' book

The Lonely Planet has published a new book showcasing beauty from across the globe. From a cityscape of Manhattan, New York to a sprawling aerial shot of the Lake District, the Lonely Planet's Beautiful World has a selection of amazing images celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of the world.

Thomas Cook seeks new heartland

Travel group Thomas Cook today unveiled a new “sunny heart” logo and the simple message “Let’s Go” in a major rebranding, but some observers warned that it looked “bland” and could lead to confusion.

My next book: a dog in a bag, and me. Can’t fail

Slowly, and almost indiscernibly, the taboos of my youth are being shed. The other day I caught myself thinking about attaching some sort of strap to my reading glasses.

Fishing boats in the harbour of seaside town, Brixham

A fishy business: TripAdvisor falls victim to fake Brixham seafood restaurant Oscar's

Here’s an idea for an online start-up: TrapAdvisor, warning online travel operators about possible fake reviews. It might have helped the folk at TripAdvisor realise there was something fishy about Oscar’s.

BBC headquarters at New Broadcasting House

Lord Patten to leave after true scale of ‘dark days’ laid bare as BBC admits pay for top bosses soared by 60 per cent

Chairman of Trust to stand down in 2015 after ‘chaotic’ year of vast redundancy payouts and failure of £100m digital project

Mishal Husain will join presenters on BBC Radio 4's Today programme

BBC announces Mishal Husain as new female voice for Today programme

Show's stalwart presenter Jim Naughtie has moved to work on coverage of Scottish independence referendum

On the spot: Safari visitors feel cheated if they don’t see a leopard, one of the Big Five, on an African safari

Something To Declare: Africa’s wildlife A-listers go far beyond the ‘Big Five’

Our obsession with “Big” doubtless has some Freudian explanation. And scholars will probably explain how “Five” is hard-wired into our cultural psyche, from the wounds of Christ to the pillars of Islam. But why must this expression become the raison d’être of the African safari? Big Five experience, Big Five lodge, Big Five tea towel: it’s everywhere.

MI5 officer tells court of her secret date watching spy film

Two MI5 officers disobeyed instructions to stay apart from each other and held a secret rendezvous to watch the espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a court heard.

The 50 Best travel websites

Whether you want to know where to go, how to get there, the finest places to stay or what to avoid at all costs, Sarah Barrell has a treasure-trove of information for the trip of a lifetime

Despite the high menu prices, room service isn’t very profitable

Room service: The final call on a luxury that is just not profitable

At the New York Hilton, you will soon have to make do with a 'grab 'n go' cafeteria

Travel Agenda

From coffee tours and festival checklists to the Grand Canal and the pyramids

Green scene: Clouds shroud the woods of Motovun in Istria

Independent on Sunday travel writing competition: Write your way to an inspirational week in Croatia

We have once again joined forces with Bradt Travel Guides  to offer readers the chance to win our travel-writing competition, with a top prize this year of a holiday for two to the Croatian region of Istria. PLUS have your winning story published in 'The Independent on Sunday' and Independent.co.uk

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)