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Established 1885 • No 63989

features14DAWNOFANEW ERA At 55, Dawn French is celebrating a new life 18 ONE MAN AND HIS (VERY EXPENSIVE) DOG Midge the sheepdog cost her new owner a record £8,400, but she’s worth every penny, he says 20 LEARNING THE ROPES Novice bell-ringer Gillian Spickernell on an ancient craft 24 INSOMNIACS UNITE As Advent approaches, the list of things to worry about gets ever longer, says a sleepless Ysenda Maxtone Graham 26 THE LADY LITERARY LUNCH Join us for this popular event at the Cavalry and Guards Club 30 INSIDE THE QUEEN’S WARDROBE Royal dresser Angela Kelly provides a fascinating glimpse 68 ‘A NIGHT TO RATTLE YOUR JEWELLERY’ John Price reveals the colourful history of the Royal Variety Performance as it celebrates its 100th anniversary

Christmas present special 50 FOR HER What’s on every girl’s wish list 54 FOR CHILDREN Ideas for tots, teens and in-betweens 59 FOR ANIMAL LOVERS Gifts for pets and their admirers regulars7THELADYALMANAC 11 MY BATTLE OF HASTINGS AND POEM BY SIR PATRICK MOORE 12 LETTERS, THE LADY AND I AND THE LADY ON THE WALL 22 HER INDOORS AND HOROSCOPES 23 MEET THE BRITISH: THE ANTIQUES DEALER 27 THE LADY GUIDE TO MODERN MANNERS 36 ANTIQUES LETTERS Fiona Shoop answers your queries 37 HOME HELP Hugh St Clair on caring for rugs 38 FOOD: CURRYING FAVOURS Madhur Jaffrey has scoured the country to find our favourite dishes 40 WINES OF THE WEEK Henry Jeffreys’ drinks for spicy food 42 GARDEN PLOTTING with Sarah Langton-Lockton 45 DR JAMES LE FANU advises and Sof McVeigh dispenses 46 TRAVEL: Wendy Gomersall finds Santa in residence 62 REVIEWS: BOOKS, RADIO, FILM, TV, THEATRE AND ART 84 PUZZLE FROM THE PAST 85 CROSSWORD For solvers 86 THE LADYGRAM Your favourite puzzle 87 BRIDGE For dealers 88 SU DOKU and QUICK CROSSWORD 90 FIRST IMPRESSIONS Q&A: RALPH McTELL

special offers 17 Meet Kirstie Allsopp at Peter Jones 33 Christmas carols on the British Pullman 57 The Lady calendar and tea towel 58 Win £400 of John Lewis vouchers and a cyclamen 60 Subscribe to The Lady and receive a FREE Chatsworth Plum Pudding 85 Ice treads; Open All Hours DVD set 87 Ladies’ winter boots; Alex reading light classifieds PAGES 72-83

4 May 2010

4 May 2010

16 November 2012

The Lady

The Lady

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Cover stories

◆ Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide. Page 49 ◆ Dawn French: My new life. Page 14 ◆ Inside the Queen’s wardrobe. Page 30 ◆ The world’s most expensive sheepdog. Page 18 ◆ Bell-ringing. Page 20 ◆ 100 years of the Royal Variety Performance. Page 68 ◆ Insomnia. Page 24 ◆ How to say no. Page 27 ◆ Books special. Page 62 ◆ Food, page 38; Offers, page 85; Puzzles, page 84