All items: Virgil

Letters, photographs, newspaper cuttings… writers have always found inspiration in ephemera. Some have carried hoarding to excess, as Nicolette Jones explains.

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.’