All items: Thomas Carlyle

In ‘My Hero', we talk to a number of RLF writers about their personal heroes, and how those heroes have had an impact on their lives and their writing.

John Keay speaks with James McConnachie about hands-on historical researches from the Himalaya to the Highlands, his best writing advice and the idea that what historians really need is not more documents but stronger boots.

John Keay explains why writing a foreign nation’s history is no more presumptuous than writing about Picts and Scots, and shares his enthusiasm for RH Tawney, a man who was ‘more history writer than historian’.

Tobias Jones considers, as both reader and writer, the fascination of the true crime genre, and the profound truths with which it can connect us.

Roopa Farooki explores what it’s like to be brown when all your childhood literary heroes are white, and explains why representation matters if we want to draw more children into reading.

Ray French considers his Irish roots and adopted British identity, and how, in writing about the Irish experience in Britain, he inhabits ‘that fascinating space between home and exile.’

John Keay shares his diary during a week in which he lets go of a completed book and considers the next one.