I put a spell on you: For the first Harry Potter Book Night last February, there were 10,500 parties and celebrations held all over the world.  Illustration: Jonny Duddle

Expecto Patronum has been voted the favourite Harry Potter spell after the first official global search by JK Rowling’s publisher, Bloomsbury Childre(...)

Iris Murdoch and her husband, John Bayley, Warton Professor of English at Oxford. While her imbroglios outside marriage have long been known about, these letters lay bare Murdoch’s almost desperate desires – and not only for men. Bayley remained a rock, however; and she always came home

“I should tell you that I have parted company with my virginity,” wrote 23-year-old Iris Murdoch to the soldier Frank Thompson in January 1943. She ha(...)

They say write what you know, and Jackie Kabler has followed that advice with her first novel, The Dead Dog Day. Kabler has worked in broadcasting fo(...)

Alan Rickman.  Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Alan Rickman, one of the best-loved and most warmly admired British actors of the past 30 years, has died in London aged 69. His death was confirmed(...)

Henry Lloyd Snape (1861-1933), second right, back row, was appointed Chair of Chemistry – or Potions Master, if you prefer – in 1888. His obituary in the Journal of the Chemical Society describes him as “energetic, keen and devoted”, a man serious about science but also committed to literature, an advocate of the debating society and key player in “College dramatics”. It’s difficult not to conjure up an image of Alan Rickman marching through the halls of Hogwarts, cape billowing behind him

For several years now, students and visitors have affectionately referred to the Old College at Aberystwyth University as Hogwarts. A dramatic, gothic(...)

 Conor McGregor celebrates after a first-round knockout victory over Jose Aldo in their featherweight title fight during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo:  Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Maybe it’s stretching things to describe Conor McGregor’s 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo as a miracle. Let’s just say that if he’d been doing this st(...)

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Costa Rica

We are a family of four, two adults and two girls (14 and 12) who would like to go on a special holiday next Easter. We have mostly holidayed at home(...)

Chief Justice Susan Denham. “The report highlights a lack of availability of suitable and appropriate services for vulnerable parents.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Vulnerable parents must be provided with “appropriate supports” to break the “vicious cycle” of their children being taken into care, the Chie(...)

The 2.02-acre vet college site will accommodate the new One Ballsbridge.

The first phase of a major new urban centre planned for Ballsbridge in Dublin 4, is being launched today through a marketing campaign for high qualit(...)

I still remember that moment on Twitter where Scully and Mulder started flirting. All right, it was Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny providing us w(...)