Arts feature

China’s piano fever

Petroc Trelawny visits the world’s largest piano factory in the country where under Mao it was dangerous to play the instrument As my plane makes its final approach into the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the mountains give way briefly to green paddy fields, and then industry takes over. Beneath are hundreds of vast blue-roofed

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Top women

This weekend, by chance, brought us television biographies of the two most famous British women of the 19th century. They were very different programmes, for good reason. Queen Victoria’s Men on Monday was made for Channel 4, so of course it had to be in that channel’s long iconoclastic tradition: General Custer, a great tactician;


Saved by the horses

Mongol 15, Nationwide Mongol traces the early years of the legendary warrior Genghis Khan and does not feature, at any point, the world’s greatest adventurer/archaeologist or four fortysomething women living and loving in New York. Yes, it is probably safe to come out now. They’re all gone! However, having said that, the other morning when