Counterpoints

It’s 119 years since the last southbound main line to London was built — will HS2 do any better than the Great Central Railway?

Encores are an adornment to concert life — like a dessert, completing a meal, or an after-dinner mint

‘Seventy years after independence, bashing Winston Churchill has become a sure-fire way of attracting a mass following on Indian social media’

‘The BBC’s new policy on “equality and diversity” reads as though it is straight out of the W1A comedy series’

‘Jusepe de Ribera went beyond palpability — the way the paint becomes flesh — to the visceral. He sought to engage all our senses at once’

‘There once was a Tudor woman with flaming red hair. Her name was Elizabeth, but she wasn’t the queen. Her reputation preceded her — Bess of Hardwick’

This year’s Passion for Freedom exhibition asks: “What is freedom? How do you preserve it? How do you celebrate it?”

Georg Simmel was prescient: he realised that the freedom to pose as who we like helps in high-pressure mass societies

William Simmonds was a modest but extraordinary artist, whose reputation rested on his marionettes and puppets

Why does sacred music remain popular at a time when the Church, its historical home, does not?