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children's bookshop column

Children’s Bookshop column: How to introduce your kids to art this half-term

With half-term upon us, parents and grandparents are busy planning family days out. This October, many of them are choosing to take their children to the Turner exhibition at Tate Britain or to Constable at the V&A. Several are also using the opportunity to introduce children to the works of these and other great artists ahead of their visits through a selection of appealing art books.

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James Roose Evans

Hampstead Theatre founder James Roose-Evans ponders Dylan Thomas ahead of Hampstead Arts festival celebration

A boutique arts festival of words and music runs in Hampstead next month. The small but perfectly formed programme of events takes place at St John’s Downshire Hill and Burgh House, in New End Square, from November 1 to 22.

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BBC presenter Andrew Marr at the Royal Maundy Service at Westminster Abbey, London.

“We’ve all been too disconnected”: Andrew Marr says politics must change as reality outpaces fiction

As Andrew Marr notes, there are relatively few novels about politics, but the climate couldn’t be better for his debut effort.

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Arabella Weir

Arabella Weir digs up parental problems to find she’s still a teen at heart

Arabella Weir’s debut kids’ novel required her to mentally wriggle into the unflattering school uniform of teenager Tabitha Baird. But the Crouch End actress and writer says it wasn’t much of an imaginative stretch because part of her has never really grown up.

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Sita Bramachari, author of Red Leaves

Sita Brahmachari looks to ‘spooky’ Queens Wood in unifying tale of cultural diversity

Sita Brahmachari’s fourth novel unites a homeless Scottish teen, a wealthy child of divorce and a Somalian refugee with a common need for a place to call home.

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Mark McCrum

Literary festival: Writer Mark McCrum reveals the ghost behind words of Robbie Williams

Rarely seen or heard celebrity ghost writers almost never get their chance to reveal their secrets and experiences of sitting with some of this country’s best known stars.

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book and pic and pic of lady antonia fraser

Literary festival: Earl Spencer finds his sympathies lie with killers of a king

One of the most turbulent and bloody periods in English history ended with the previously unimaginable spectacle of King Charles I’s public beheading. Our civil war and transition from Monarchy to a Commonwealth was effectively a military-backed regime change.

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Nick Harkaway

Literary festival: Revolution starts with parenthood, says Tigerman author Nick Harkaway

According to a website Nick Harkaway recently checked, the median age for a Hampstead resident like himself is 38. While he guardedly admits to being a little older, it is nonetheless a stage in life at which fatherhood – a recurring theme in his latest novel, Tigerman – becomes a common issue.

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Thomas Cromwell. Picture credit: National Portrait Gallery London

Literary festival: Tracy Borman investigates ‘family man’ image of Thomas Cromwell inspired by Wolf Hall

In the last few years, Britain has fallen victim to medieval madness. With the success of George R. R. Martin’s historical fantasy novels, A Song Of Ice and Fire – and their TV adaptation Game Of Thrones – as well as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, the zeitgeist has never been riper for Tudor historian Tracy Borman.

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Irma Kurtz

Literary festival: Agony Aunt Irma Kurtz reveals what it takes for millions to trust your advice

Irma Kurtz, the doyenne of agony aunts, with more than 40 years’ experience, is recalling just some of the letters she has read.

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Zoom Rockman

Literary festival: Beano writer Zoom Rockman draws Haringey into his comic book world

Read any issue of Zoom Rockman’s comic series and you’ll soon forget this prodigious talent has only just turned 14.

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Jenny Molloy (Left) and daughter Lauren (right) and granddaughter Lily (centre)

Literary festival: Hope Daniels discusses social care misery of childhood years in Hackney

The candour with which Jenny Molloy talks about her life and the notoriously secret care system which she has been a part of – both as a child and now a consultant – is refreshing.

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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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Music See all

James Roose Evans

Hampstead Theatre founder James Roose-Evans ponders Dylan Thomas ahead of Hampstead Arts festival celebration

A boutique arts festival of words and music runs in Hampstead next month. The small but perfectly formed programme of events takes place at St John’s Downshire Hill and Burgh House, in New End Square, from November 1 to 22.

Read full story »

Theatre See all

Natalie Mendoza as Imelda Marcos with cast including Dean John-Wilson as Ninoy Aquino

Theatre review: Here Lies Love at the National Theatre Dorfman

With an Evita revival running in the West End, there seems a trend for musicals about despotic, spendthrift self-styled women-of-the-people who married international leaders.

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Art See all

Jane McAdam Freud

Sculptor Jane McAdam Freud on war, family and getting to know her great granddad Sigmund

Award winning sculptor and artist Jane McAdam Freud is the daughter of artist Lucian Freud and great-grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud.

Her exhibition Dance of Disapproval War Works runs at the London Jewish Cultural Centre until November 10 and includes works created while she was artist in residence at the Freud Museum in 2005/6. She talks to Features Editor Bridget Galton about art, family and legacy.

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Competitions See all

Experience the action of a London Lions basketball game!

Win tickets to see London Lions vs Leeds Force

The London Lions are the only professional basketball team in the capital, based at the state-of-the-art Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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