Many people are experiencing prolonged isolation for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

We asked readers who live alone to tell us about their experiences of the shutdown in Ireland during the past couple of months due to the Co(...)

We’ve been meeting for eight years and, until the Coronavirus pandemic, we took it in turns to gather in each other’s houses. Photograph: Getty Images

In this Covid-19 public health emergency, how did we allow our bookshops to be deemed non-essential? Reading, I’ve found, is one of the few things tha(...)

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and fin-tech firm Square. Photograph: Reuters/ Toby Melville

Does it matter who owns Twitter to people who use Twitter? The evidence for the first 14 years of its history would say it matters about as much as wh(...)

Steve Bannon  championed Donald Trump’s America First motto . Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

With the departure of Steve Bannon on Friday the court of Donald Trump lost its rumpled chief ideologue. Mr Bannon was a man who prized his image as a(...)

 King Hanvery VIII’s determination to marry Anne Boleyn and the Pope’s refusal to endorse the divorce which would have made it possible was more the occasion than the cause of the historic schism. Photograph: iStock

According to Cardinal Reginald Pole the English Reformation was result of Henry VIII’s “fleshy will” and “carnal concupiscence”. It is easy to under(...)

Sebastian Barry: “That’s enough of that, I say, I don’t want to say no more. Silence.” Photograph: Alan Betson

In some ways it seems a bit of a puzzle that in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which was published a century ago, James Joyce’s alter ego, (...)

Kate Fleetwood in Medea. With characters she says ‘You can turn it on and off. I can be sat in traffic and take 30 seconds to check someone’s still in there. It’s bizarre’

“If you spend your evenings going to these horrible places, it’s part of your life.” Take it from an actor who knows. Kate Fleetwood has played both L(...)

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC drama series ‘Wolf Hall’. Photograph: Giles Keyte

Hilary Mantel, the Catholic-educated, Booker Prize-winning author, has created her own Reformation by changing popular perception about Thomas Cromwel(...)

Power broker: Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall

Pare it back and it’s the oldest story of all: power, loyalty and betrayal, the rise of a man from humble beginnings to the top table. Charlie, obviou(...)