Maggi Hambling picked to create Mary Wollstonecraft statue

Long-awaited memorial aims to capture spirit and strength of the ‘foremother of feminism’

The pioneering British artist Maggi Hambling has been chosen fo r a long-awaited statue commemorating the “foremother of feminism” Mary Wollstonecraft.

The Mary on the Green campaign, which has been calling for a permanent memorial to the philosopher and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman since 2011, unanimously chose Hambling for the sculpture.

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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol inspired by visits to Cornwall

Historian claims Jacob Marley based on real man that the author met, with passages and descriptions also rooted in the county

Jacob Marley, one of the best-known characters in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, was by all accounts a selfish and greedy man who died with only one friend in the world, his business partner Ebenezer Scrooge.

Now a historian has claimed the character, who comes back as a ghost to visit Scrooge and teach him the error of his ways, was actually inspired by a real man whom Dickens had met and had promised to make him a household name.

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A life in quotes: John Berger

The late prize-winning author and art critic was perceptive on, among other things, the male gaze and the subjectivity of art John Berger, one of the most influential writers of his generation, has died at 90. The Booker prize-winning author of titles including Ways of Seeing, G and A Painter of our Time helped transform the way people looked at and perceived art. Related: Artist, visionary and writer - John Berger is undimmed at 90 Continue reading...

Morrissey wins bad sex award for love scenes in debut novel List of the Lost

Singer’s description of a ‘giggling snowball of full-figured copulation’ helped him gain dubious victory

The Bad Sex Award reached its climax on Tuesday night with singer Morrissey’s reference to a “bulbous salutation” in his debut novel helping him win the bad sex award.

Sex scenes in his book List of the Lost swayed the judges, it was announced at a lavish ceremony presented by Nancy Dell’Olio on Tuesday.

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Waterstones to stop selling Kindle as book sales surge

Managing director James Daunt says: ‘Sales continue to be pitiful so we are taking the display space back.’

The UK’s largest book retailer is removing Amazon’s Kindle ebooks from its stores nationwide and replacing them with print books due to “pitiful sales”.

Waterstones, which teamed up with Amazon in 2012 to sell the electronic reader in its stores, will use the display space for physical paperbacks and hardbacks instead.

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True confessions: would you read out your teenage diary to a group of strangers?

Events such as east London’s Diary Days – halfway between a standup gig and group therapy – are building up a small cult following

In hindsight, attempting to join the Arriva Trains Wales version of the Mile High Club as a teenager was not my finest moment. Yet here I am on stage recounting the tale to strangers at Diary Days, an event in east London (where else?) that is swiftly gaining a cult following.

Diary Days is the brainchild of blogger Jordi Sinclair, who was inspired by a similar event in his hometown back in Australia. The nights are halfway between a standup gig and group therapy – attendees are invited to bring along old diaries, letters, school reports, or anything else they feel like sharing on stage in front of a receptive audience. Every night so far has sold out, and Sinclair can see why it appeals.

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