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Rufus Sewell and Kate Beckinsale star in Cold Comfort Farm, the 1995 adaptation of the novel

Believers ought not to be self-obsessed, but novels are about self-obsession

Daniel Goldhagen, author of A Moral Reckoning

Melanie Phillips says that Islam is intrinsically anti-Semitic; Daniel Goldhagen tries the same argument with Catholicism

Italy is a country that has often fascinated British writers. Here are my recommendations for the best books on Italy and the Italians

Berlusconi has lead Italy into an economic abyss Photo: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

Italy is facing its worst crisis since the Second World War

Berlusconi endures a voting session in the Italian parliament earlier this week (Photo: PA)

Italians saw in Berlusconi what they saw in Mussolini – an anti-establishment figure who defied the law

Irish leader Enda Kenny Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/Press Association Images

Closing the embassy makes no economic logic – rather it is down to a ‘cooling of relations’

How great tragedy inspires great art

Alice Thomas Ellis’s life was overshadowed by tragedy, and so makes great reading in this, the month of death

Hugh Grant, a father at 51. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Now that he’s a father, the heart-throb actor might finally discover what love really is, a love that can never be replaced

George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, has proposed a referendum on the bailout (Photo: PA)

And when the inevitable finally comes, the Greeks who suffer most will be the least guilty

The rightful James III/VIII. But England has an Anglican monarchy and we are better off leaving it well alone

For the sake of political posturing and ending ‘discrimination’ against women and Catholics, David Cameron is opening the monarchy up to secularisation. It is political vanity for which future generations will pay a high price