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How The Tudors Invented Breakfast

Most medieval Brits ate two meals a day: dinner around 11am, supper around 5pm. But in the 16th century everybody started eating breakfast, and the three-meal day fell into place. Why the change? Probably because standardised jobs became more commonplace in the 16C, and with them “working hours”. Pushing back dinner and supper allowed for a longer working day, but it also made breakfast an essential starter (2,600 words)

Can Art Still Shock?

When Edouard Manet unveiled his reclining nude, Olympia, in Paris in 1865, “the crowd fairly lost all control of itself”. The subject and the style were considered deeply shocking. Yet modern visitors look at Olympia in perfect serenity. Can any work of art still shock us aesthetically? If our capacity for shock has diminished, is that a sign that our sensibilities have grown more inclusive — or that they have dulled? (3,260 words)

Interview: New York Times Editor Dean Baquet

Spiegel asks hard questions and Baquet answers them. On not republishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons: “As much as I love showing solidarity, that’s my second or third most important job. My first most important job is to serve the readers of the New York Times, and a big chunk of the readers of the New York Times are people who would be offended by showing satire of the Prophet Muhammad” (3,390 words)

Lunch With The FT: Sir Stephen Wall

Proof that there are second and even third acts in British lives. Stephen Wall was Britain’s ambassador to the European Union and then Tony Blair’s adviser on Europe. A lifelong Catholic, he retired from the civil service to serve as policy adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster. But “in his early sixties” he read Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion and lost his faith. He came out as gay and his divorce is pending. Now read on (2,500 words)

Obituary: King Abdullah Of Saudi Arabia

He came late to the throne and achieved little or nothing good. He used his wealth to undermine the Arab Spring, particularly in Egypt, and so “helped to reverse the prospect of democracy in the Arab world”. Under his rule Saudi Arabia “degenerated into multiple fiefdoms”. Like his father he married the daughters and widows of defeated enemies: “He is believed to have had around 30 wives, 15 sons and 20 daughters” (2,500 words)

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