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Is there still a bit of Tony Blair left inside Ed Miliband? The question bugged me as I listened to the Labour leader doing what he does best – giving a speech to a predominantly sympathetic audience – in London today.

Manet to remain in UK after public campaign

A celebrated painting by Edouard Manet has been saved for the nation after an eight-month public campaign raised £7.8m to prevent it heading overseas. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford called it the "most significant acquisition" in its history.

The Dinner, By Herman Koch, trans. Sam Garrett

This riveting Dutch bestseller will leave its readers feeling thrilled, chilled or cheated.

The Fairy Queen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

When Glyndebourne invited Jonathan Kent and Paul Brown to realise Purcell’s ‘semi-opera’ The Fairy Queen, it was with slight trepidation, as they had no idea how this amalgam of Purcell’s music and filletings from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream would go down.

The Night Wanderer, 1923-4, 90cm x 68cm by Edvard Munch

Munch Museum, Oslo

Mary Dejevsky: Even cold warriors like me miss the communists

The venue was a higgledy-piggledy alternative bookshop of the sort I – and probably you, too – thought had died a death in today's Britain.

In 'The Night Wanderer', Munch depicts himself with sightless eye sockets

Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye, Tate Modern, London

Few artists are so defined by a single image, but with no Scream pictures to steal the show, the Norwegian hypochondriac is seen in a new light

Scraps of paper? No, they're Matisse's last masterpiece

Previously unseen cut-outs by father of modern art donated to museums by his family

The Emperor's New Clothes: The Italians

The Italians who face England tonight think they are better dressed, better fed, better lovers. Simmy Richman begs to differ
Monet's Poplars on the Epte

Heads Up: Turner Monet Twombly

Paint the town red ... and yellow ... and blue ... and grey

The artist is played by Gilles Bourdos, but the film will show Guy Ribes’ hands as he paints the canvases

Guy Ribes: The forger making a good impression in the film world

Jailed for faking Renoirs, Guy Ribes returns to take key role in biopic of French master

Album: Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky's Edge (Mute)

Taken on its own merits, Standing at the Sky's Edge is a classy, well-made record.

Illumination: David Gascoyne

Night Thoughts: The Surreal Life of the Poet David Gascoyne, By Robert Fraser

Many know about the death by drowning of WS Gilbert; others are aware that in 1933 Ernest Hemingway, incensed by a review, trashed the Paris bookshop in which he read it. Few could point to these incidents' one degree of separation. Such surprises regularly punctuate the soberly engrossing chronicle which Robert Fraser has created around the life of a poet whose modest fame has burned steadily, almost brightly, since his Thirties emergence as a teenage prodigy.

Staatskapelle Berlin/ Barenboim, Royal Festival Hall

The furtive opening bars of Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto No. 24 were shrouded in a mellowness of tone that made them welcoming rather than darkly unsettling and as the well upholstered sound of the venerable Staatskapelle Berlin took hold we were cast back into an era of sound and style that was altogether “other”. And then - final confirmation - the piano entered.

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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