News Mourners visit the home of Margaret Thatcher in April 2013; her Belgravia house will go on sale after major refurbishment

A development company has bought the property and is getting it ready to sell on

The Arsenic Century, By James C. Whorton

It's curious how the most unlikely topics can generate books of the utmost interest. Whorton has done this with arsenic poisoning, both deliberate and accidental, in 19th century Britain.

Great House, By Nicole Krauss

A tapestry of pain, torture – and our capacity to love

The Insider: How to pimp your stairs

Stairs often get neglected when preening the home. And where do you start, anyway – there's too much wall space, no furniture that fits, weird angles, and carpet ain't cheap. So what are the shortcuts to a chic staircase?

The Business On... John Sach, Chief executive, Walker Greenbank

That sounds like a stockbroker

The Reading List: Depression

Celebrity

Hilco sells retailer Allied Carpets

Hilco, the retail restructuring firm, has sold Allied Carpets to a consortium of private investors.

Walls of fame: Business is still booming for Victorian designer William Morris' company 150 years on

William Morris prints were very big in the 1970s. Households up and down the country were gripped by the trend for co-ordinating wallpapers and fabrics. It wasn't enough to have a swirling floral print on the walls, to get the complete look you needed to cover your curtains, chairs and bedspreads in it, too. At its peak the Morris & Co fabric "Golden Lily" was selling 5,000 metres a month in tasteful shades of brown and orange.

Interior design scandal: wallpaper bares all

Why not paint a naked body with wallpaper, says artist Emma Hack in an exclusive interview with Annie Deakin

Fiona Banner: The Naked Ear, Frith Street Gallery, London

Fiona Banner's current installation in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, Harrier and Jaguar (2010), sees two fighter planes dominating one of the grand spaces of the museum. It's an uncomfortable triple sublime: force x power x impressive aesthetics, but oddly underwhelming as art. Elsewhere in London, at Frith Street Gallery, is a literal echo of that installation. An enormous bell greets you at the gallery, hung low from supports in the ceiling. The sculpture is ominously named Tornado (2010) has been cast from the melted-down fuselage of a Tornado jet fighter – a deadly efficient machine of war. For whom does this bell toll? The idea of a deep, sonorous bell ring rings with signification: the passing of time, births, deaths and marriages. A large single bell like this, however, given its name and its history, is more likely to bring to mind mourning, warning and doom. The death-knell. How many times did this particular plane bring about death and destruction? Nearby is a stack of every copy of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, from 1909-2010. A heap of language that describes only destructive capability and armature, freed from the bloodshed, the conflict and the history of the wars for which such impressive machines are made.

Carpetright warns of new year price hike

Carpetright, the UK's biggest floor covering specialist, has warned that soaring raw material costs will drive carpet prices up by as much as 7 per cent over the coming months.

Walker Greenbank benefits from rush to improve homes

The owner of wallpaper brands Sanderson and Harlequin reported record autumn sales and profits as more people look to improve their homes. Walker Greenbank, which also owns the fabric and wallpaper brands Morris & Co and Zoffany, predicted that pre-tax profits for the year to January would be ahead of market forecasts following the strong season.

Behind Closed Doors, By Amanda Vickery

"Interiors do not easily offer up their secrets," admits Vickery in this scrupulously documented exploration of 18th-century domesticity. By probing over 60 archives she reveals telling details of life behind the restrained Georgian façades.

Album: Jan Garbarek, Officium Novum (ECM)

Should Elvis have made more rockabilly records? Definitely.

Album: Christine Tobin & Liam Noble, Tapestry Unravelled (Trail Belle)

Following the death of her elder sister Deirdre, who had introduced her to Carole King's Tapestry album as a child, Irish vocalist Tobin was moved to return to this most iconic set of songs and interpret them anew with the brilliant pianist Liam Noble, a regular partner.

Carpetright profit warning fuels double-dip fears

Carpetright sent shivers down the spine of retail DIY and home product chains yesterday with a profits warning that wiped 11 per cent off its market value.

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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?