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    Wendy Cope: why I’m boycotting The Archers

    My father disapproved of The Archers – I’m not sure why. We never listened to it at home, but I went to boarding school when I was seven and had the programme inflicted on me against my will. This is what happened: Miss Worrall, the matron, used to gather us in her room and read to us before we went to bed. She was in the middle of a book called The Little Grey Men when someone suggested we might like to...

    No one is sacrosant

    Is there a new craze in Hollywood, television, theatre and novels for basing works of fiction on real people or events? If so, is that a good thing, or has something gone wrong with the creative process? And if the screenwriter, playwright or novelist bases their work on a real person or events, what are their “responsibilities” towards their subject? Recently, some fact-based films have been big box-office...

    Filming The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

    The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, the forthcoming TV murder mystery starring Peter Capaldi and Paddy Considine, is based on the bestselling book by Kate Summerscale that tells the true story of a gruesome Victorian country house murder. Three-year-old Saville Kent was snatched from his cot, taken outside and brutally killed. A narrow village street is packed with extras who have gathered around the small stone...

    Roald Dahl biography on non-fiction prize list

    Biographies of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, Otto von Bismarck and Roald Dahl are just some of the 18 books chosen for the long list to contest the 2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. The winner of the 20,000-pound prize for books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts will be announced on July 6 and a short list will appear...

    AbeBooks’ Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in March 2011

    For a collector of modern first editions, there are few books put on a higher pedestal than The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Last month a collector purchased a first edition of this novel, via AbeBooks, for more than $20,000. The Hobbit is considered the archetypal epic fantasy novel and is thoroughly entrenched in popular culture, but this was not always the case. Published in 1937, the book was a slow burning...

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