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Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about the tragic fates of two lesser-known Kennedy siblings, doing meticulous scholarly research and yet publishing accessible books, moving into writing fiction, and investigating the psychological health benefits of reading with ReLit.

‘Those heaps of books in the living room left as if to mark my territory, with their scruffy bookmarks, torn up poetry drafts may, of course, be evidence of a project.’
‘Now she is able to talk again she has told me that it really got through to her. I will always be grateful to Jane Austen for being there at the darkest of times.’