“Charles Baudelaire spent 44,500 gold francs in two years. His mother turned off the money tap, or at least fitted a meter.” Photograph: Etienne Carjat/Getty Images

If you have ever gone strolling in Paris, the central part of it anyway, there is a good chance you were following the footsteps of Charles Baudelaire(...)

Vincent Prince  as Prince Prospero in The Masque of the Red Death.

“The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous,” runs the opening line of Edgar Allan Poe’s spo(...)

 Portrait of Enid Starkie by Patrick George. Time magazine referred to her as “a brilliant Rimbaud scholar who pub-crawls about Oxford in bright red slacks and beret while smoking cigars”. Courtesy of Somerville College, Oxford

‘A bit of a character” is how an Irish newspaper journalist once referred to Enid Starkie. The colourful Dublin-born academic worked in Oxford Univers(...)

Crossing is Pajtim Statovci’s second novel, after his award-winning debut My Cat Yugoslavia

“La grande maladie de l’horreur du domicile.” The biggest sickness, wrote the French poet Charles Baudelaire, is horror of the home. It is an idea tha(...)

Delacroix: a detail from July 28, 1830: Liberty Leading the People. Courtesy of the Louvre, Paris

France had not held a major retrospective of Eugène Delacroix’s work since the centenary of his death in 1963. An exhibition at the Louvre this spring(...)

Punk icon Richard Hell adores the impeccably cool Danish band Iceage so much he has written a short essay for their fourth album, Beyondless. “I can (...)

French poet Charles Baudelaire, who died 150 years ago this week. File photograph: Étienne Carjat/Getty Images

If Charles Baudelaire had lived a century-and-a-half later, I suspect he would have been a rock star. A tormented genius, like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hend(...)

Brigitte Macron: ‘We have breakfast together, me with my wrinkles, him with his freshness.’  Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

It’s too early to conjecture what President Emmanuel Macron’s legacy will be, but his long love affair with his wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years and ei(...)

Former England footballer Gary Lineker volunteered his services to cover BBC golf coverage after Steve Rider left the broadcasters. Photograph: Getty.

Ah, Steve Rider. Out of the haze of sports television’s glory years steps the most urbane and dulcet-toned presenter of them all to remind everybod(...)

Raising taxes: President François Hollande. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Of the many insults levelled at France’s tax-and-spend policies, it is the cruellest. The phrase “sick man at the heart of Europe” was coined for the (...)

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