Spoof humour books like Five on Brexit Island have become a ‘key driver’ of sales at WH Smith, helping to counter a sharp drop in ‘colour therapy’ titles.

Bookseller and stationer WH Smith has revealed that sales from its shops in train stations and airports have overtaken high street stores for the firs(...)

Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson on Goodbye Christopher Robin: “I suspect the reviews will go many different ways. But I’ve seen people weeping in a cinema watching it. That’s hard to do.” Photograph:   Vera Anderson/WireImage

Everything’s coming up Domhnall Gleeson. And to paraphrase the title of one of his best-loved movies, it’s about bleeding time. Good tidings we bring:(...)

Corfe Castle, Dorset, England. Photograph: Mark Bauer/Getty Images

In the summer of 1941 Enid Blyton alighted from a steam locomotive at Corfe Castle station in the Isle of Purbeck. She took a short walk through the (...)

Margaret Thatcher: Google reveals twice the matches for “a difficult woman” as for “a difficult man” – and most of the references to difficult men don’t count because they continue with “to pin down”. Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Last week I had a disagreement on a matter of principle with a man at work. When I got home, I gave my daughter a blow-by-blow account of the bust-up(...)

Seána Kerslake in the low-key charmer A Date for Mad Mary

Seána Kerslake may be the hottest name in Irish cinema right now but that doesn’t mean that everybody knows how to call her over should she happen to(...)

An early edition of Enid Blyton’s 1942 novel Five on a Treasure Island; and LT Meade’s earlier novel Four on an Island

LT Meade’s novel Four on an Island: A Story of Adventure (1892), now quite rare and seldom read, is sitting in front of me on a cushion in Dublin Cit(...)

Five go on a gluten-free picnic: Joanna Lumley says it’s Enid Blyton’s “moral exactitude that is so appealing”

Joanna Lumley started it all. In an interview a few years ago the Absolutely Fabulous star bemoaned the “slack morals of today’s children” and suggest(...)

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne: “Nowadays, standards are different. There’s more acceptance of anything. Why should a story have to conform?”

Pseudonyms are not just for pseuds. They also allow established authors to publish detective stories without confusing the expectations of readers. J(...)

A video still dated March 25th last  issued by Surrey Police of a group of youngsters who formed a human arrow in Capel, Surrey, to point a police helicopter in the direction of two suspected burglars on the run.  Photo credit should read: Surrey Police/PA Wire

Police have released a video of a group of youngsters who formed a human arrow to point a police helicopter in the direction of two suspected burglar(...)

At Orla Kiely, Miss Priss is modelled after Ali MacGraw in Love Story. Photograph: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

The word “prissy” – meaning fussy, prim, straight-laced, unnecessarily studious – is an antiquated insult. However, in the fashion world, Miss Pris(...)