Literature & Music

Explore Britain's rich literary and musical heritage with events, features, news and web resources collected from hundreds of museums, archives, historic properties and libraries across the UK .

a photo of Jane Asher with a cake

V&A's Cakespeare has bakers making Bard inspired cakes for Shakespeare's birthday

The V&A's invitation to bake Bard-inspired cakes as part of their Shakespeare festival has resulted in cakes ranging from the ambitious and beautiful to the complicated and bizarre.

A photo of a security man holding a pair of glasses in a case outside a pub on a street

Deirdre Barlow's prize glasses under watch as Coronation Street tours open to public

Ena Sharples' hair net, Hilda Ogden's curlers and Vera Duckworth's hooped earrings are among the exhibits as Coronation Street prepares to open for public tours.

A black and white photo of a beach scene with palm trees and boats and mountains

Handwritten tales of 18th century English convicts who fled across Australia revealed

The amazing stories of James Martin and his eight fellow prisoners, whose daring escape from New South Wales crossed uncharted territories, has been revealed to the public.

A photo of an ancient book of black ink left open on a page

Ten of the best places in Britain to see weird and wonderful books

Whether you want to read about Richard III's theatre visits, the immigrants who changed British culture or Cornish folklore, here are ten places which keep the pages of history turning.

An image of an ancient 18th century letter in black ink on yellow paper

Future King advised to avoid war in 18th century letter revealed at Buckingham Palace

The Prince of Wales's 18th century letter, advising the future King George III in a checklist shortly before the writer's premature death, is about to go on public show.

A photo of a cartoon puppet of a woman cutting up bits of meat in the shape of a country

John McEnroe, Michael Jackson and Margaret Thatcher: Cartoon Museum's Spitting Image

London's Cartoon Museum marks the 30th anniversary of the start of the satirical show which shocked and launched careers during the 1980s and 1990s.

A photo of a book from the 17th century

Most important book in English literature to be traded for torcs in Tour de France swap

Shakespeare's First Folio and a pair of Iron Age gold torcs will switch homes between the Yorkshire Museum and Craven Museum in a four-month switch.

A photo of a woman dressed in a black witch's outfit with green make-up

Picture Gallery: See Neil Gaiman as Badger and Malorie Blackman as The Wicked Witch

Some of the world's leading authors help to portray key characters from stories for children in a colourful April exhibition, 26 Characters, at Oxford's Story Museum.

A photo of a card with hair attached to it

Is this the worst Valentine's Day card in history? Moustache horror revealed in York

A Valentine's Day card from 1900, sporting real hair in part of a moustache attached to it, shows the Victorians were often far from prim and proper, say curators.

A photo of hands holding an ancient cartoon of a woman in a dress in cartoon form

Picture Gallery: Insulting Valentine's Day cards from bygone Londoners

All was not sweet and sentimental in Victorian London. Keep your flame flickering with these accusations of falseness and ex-wives in bottles from the Museum of London's collection.

A photo of an enormous civic building on a square with flags under a blue sky

Family of Charles Dickens unveil first UK statue of author at Portsmouth Guildhall

Sculptor Martin Jennings says his sculpture of Charles Dickens, made in his hometown of Portsmouth, expresses the "energy and richness of imagination" of the author.

An image of an 18th century painting showing people playing classical instruments

Handel's royal relationships to sing in musical exhibition at the Foundling Museum

On the 300th anniversary of his composition playing at King George II's coronation, a major exhibition is all about the creative philanthropy of George Frideric Handel.

A photograph of two men with glasses inside an aeroplane

Competition: Win a pair of tickets to see Public Service Broadcasting at the RAF Museum

Our final two pairs of free tickets are up for grabs to see Public Service Broadcasting in their mini-residency for Museums at Night 2014 on Friday May 15 at the RAF Museum, Hendon.

A photo of a mottled ancient novel with a picture of its female author next to it

Jane Austen note on family and prayer to be scrutinised in Mansfield Park celebration

A fragment of handwriting from the pen of Jane Austen, written in 1814 and later pasted into a First Edition of The Memoirs of Jane Austen, is being examined by conservators.

A photo of a woman playing a piano

At Home With Music sings a song of bygone performances at the Horniman Museum

A harpischord from almost 250 years ago - restored to allow special recitals - and Flemish virginals from the 16th century are among the highlights in a new display at the Horniman.

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