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Books

Queen Anne studio of John Closterman oil on canvas, (circa 1702). Picture courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery London

Forgotten story of ‘cursed’ queen who lost 17 children brought to life by John-Paul Flintoff

As royal tragedies go, the story of Queen Anne is one of the greatest never told. The daughter of the deposed and exiled James II, she eventually succeeded her cousin William III to rule for 12 years at the start of the 18th century.

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Graham Swift Photo credit: Janus van den Eijnden.

Booker prize winner Graham Swift’s new short stories provide ‘shots of emotion to the arm’

Graham Swift, the Booker Prize-winning author, is by his own admission not keen on promoting his work publicly. In an interview five years ago, he confessed to being drawn to writing because of the solitude and privacy an author finds at work. He then almost ruefully added: “Publishing means going public.”

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Oggy Boytchev with John Simpson in Afghanistan

The Bulgarian asylum seeker who became BBC icon John Simpson’s right hand man in Iraq and beyond

Tucked away in the serene streets of Belsize Park, the home of Oggy Boytchev is a treat to behold. Towering in that period red-brick style so typical of the area, its inside is a veritable treasure trove, with paintings by Barbara Hepworth and Julian Opie taking pride of place in the living room above a host of ornate antique furniture.

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John Steinberg Photo credit: Dieter Perry

The story of Shimon inspires Hampstead author to greater heights

It is not hard to see the reasons why first-time author John Steinberg loves the story of Talmudic figure Shimon ben Lakish’s journey from gladiator to sage.

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plus her painting Sylvia 2010

Regent’s Park happenings of Plath, Dickens, Woolf and Eliot brought to life through art

Plath, Dickens, Woolf, Eliot and Stevie Smith are among the authors who have written either in or about Regent’s Park. Now Hampstead artist Sarah Pickstone has compiled a book that brings together her paintings of the Royal Park with the writings that inspired them.

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Jemma Wayne - After Before

‘Insidious’ damage of Rwandan genocide remembered 20 years later in Jemma Wayne’s ‘After Before’

It is 20 years since the Rwandan genocide claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, wreaking havoc on those who survived. That shocking episode is captured by Jemma Wayne in her novel After Before, about the interweaved lives of three women from very different backgrounds.

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Caitlin Moran will appear at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival in June

Caitlin Moran holds up a heroine for feminist cause

Men were outnumbered by women by a ratio of roughly one to 30 as feminist icon Caitlin Moran launched her latest book at Islington’s Union Chapel.

Around 850 women and 30 men witnessed Moran confirm her status as the rock star of print journalism earlier this month.

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Sasha Abramsky, author.

The Highgate home that hid twenty thousand books

An ordinary house might have at most a few bookcases lined with an assortment of hard and paperbacks. So it’s hard to grasp the idea that an unassuming semi-detached home on Hillway, Highgate, once held more than 20,000 rare books, manuscripts and documents.

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Chris Meade

Nearlyology: Finding artistic inspiration in life’s ‘what ifs?’

Picture walking into your local Waterstones, perusing the rows of paperbacks until the walls start to close in and picking out a decidedly underwhelming thriller in a “buy one, get one half-price” deal. Now picture A Night of Nearly event in Crouch End with readings from a book in progress, live music and suggestions from the audience for the next instalment.

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by Maeve Haran

Maeve Haran’s new baby-boomer novel is straight from the heart

Highgate author Maeve Haran is the living proof that you should write what you know. Back in the Nineties, when she had two young children and a demanding career in TV, she tapped into the zeitgeist with her debut novel, Having It All, about the emotional dilemmas of young working mothers.

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Laura Bates of the Everyday Sexism Project

Something for all tastes at Hampstead and Highgate Express Literary Festival

The line-up for the sixth Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival has been announced, with a packed three-day programme of author talks, workshops, walks and children’s events. Lord Charles Spencer, Tanya Byron, Antonia Fraser, Dan Freedman Lynne Reid Banks and Penny Vincenzi are among the writers and interviewers at this year’s festival which runs from September 14 to 16 at Ivy House, Golders Green.

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Harriet Lane

Harriet Lane’s Her delights in deliciously twisted corners of suburbia

If asked to name some of the darkest corners of north London, few would surely pick Highgate’s Pond Square or the children’s playground in Waterlow Park.

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Back tattoo by Rox

Tattoo anthology reveals art from the sublime to the macabre

A large, blue eye staring out of the back of a head, nature running the length of a body, a tall ship sailing upon a torso –tattoo art has come a long way from its traditional beginnings.

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Music See all

Sam Duckworth, whose stage name Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly will be dropped after September 12.

Sam hosts a party as he hangs up the Cape to assume new identity

They say when you are a performing star it is never easy to know when exactly to step away from the spotlight.

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Theatre See all

Crouch End Players present As you like it by William Shakespeare

Theatre review: As You Like It by the Crouch End Players

On Tuesday night a little bit of magic came to Hornsey as the Crouch End Players transformed the old bowling green in Priory Park into the Forest of Arden.

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Art See all

Olympic opening ceremony (night)

Picture gallery: Former Telegraph cartoonist Nicholas Garland brings colour of London’s 2012 Olympics to life

Two years ago, cartoonist Nicholas Garland landed the commission of a lifetime – to capture the atmosphere and events of the impending 2012 Olympics.

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