Jeremy Black’s ‘France: A Short History’ explores the legacy of this extraordinary country, whose dramatic history is populated by artists, martyrs and revolutionaries, and whose chateaux and cathedrals, boulevards and vineyards continue to enthral the world. In the extracts below, embark on a tour of some key touchstones of French history and culture.

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In this extract from ‘Vivienne Westwood Catwalk’, Alexander Fury offers a glimpse inside the world of this epoch-defining designer. Since her catwalk debut in 1981, Westwood has smashed conventions and brought counter-cultural fashion to the world stage. In 2021, she continues to wield her endless curiosity and punk sensibilities in a ‘crusade against the expected’.

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Endless books, friendly faces, and even some coffee and cake – what more could a book lover ask for? To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, we’ve rounded up just a few of our favourite indies – the perfect places to pop round to for an hour (or an afternoon).

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In this unmissable extract from ‘Peter Blake: Collage’ curator Natalie Rudd speaks to legendary collage artist Peter Blake – creator of the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – about ‘artistic retirement’, the beauty of Google, and what The Spice Girls have to do with Duchamp.

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Young history buffs can delve into the world of ancient Egypt with these fun-filled activity sheets inspired by Dr Chris Naunton’s ‘King Tutankhamun Tells All!’. Discover how to write using hieroglyphics and learn common words used by Egyptologists.

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Announcing the first comprehensive overview of Vivienne Westwood’s womenswear collections, from her 1981 debut to today, presented through original catwalk photography.

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A no-good piece of fruit is here! Download your free activity sheets for kids inspired by the brand new picture book 'Bad Apple', and get baking, rhyming, scribbling and sticking.

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Step into a world of printmaking at the much-loved Finnish design house and discover the perks of a ‘colour kitchen’, the simple pleasure of a coffee cup, and why Marimekko might have been an ice cream shop instead.

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In this episode, ‘The Art Museum in Modern Times’ author Charles Saumarez Smith takes us inside the world’s leading galleries, exploring the ‘Disneyfication’ of the art museum, how architecture influences art, the uniquely contemporary role of the museum café, and why COVID might have lasting impacts on curatorial creativity.

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Hypnotic, hallucinogenic, with the power to raise the dead. Since the nineteenth century, films have continually proven their powerful effects on our psyche. Here, ‘The Mysteries of Cinema’ author Peter Conrad explores five iconic movies that have changed our view of reality.

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