Human remains: some thoughts on the funeral of Richard III

Over the course of this morning, thousands of people will gather in Leicester for the re-interment of the bones of Richard III. Many more – hundreds of thousands certainly – will watch proceedings on TV as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the actor Benedict Cumberpatch speak at the ceremony. What does it mean, … Continue reading Human remains: some thoughts on the funeral of Richard III


Londonist Out Loud podcast

My Londonist Out Loud podcast with N Quentin Woolf, recorded in the lovely gardens at Hampton Court on Wednesday, is now available for download – either from the Londonist website or from iTunes. We chatted about various London-related matters, including the commercialisation of the Houses of Parliament and the ongoing privatisation of public spaces, among … Continue reading Londonist Out Loud podcast

The Hollow Crown poster competition

The DVD of The Hollow Crown series of BBC Shakespeare films is now out. When I reviewed the films over the summer – links to my pieces are here – I saw them out of sequence, so I am very much looking forward to watching them through again as they were meant to be seen. … Continue reading The Hollow Crown poster competition

North, a film by Temujin Doran

Film-maker Temujin Doran contacted me in the summer of 2010 with the intention of making a film based on The Balloonist’s Tale in my book Impossible Journeys, which recounted the failed 1897 attempt by Salomon August Andrée to reach the North Pole by hot air balloon. In the end, Doran decided to make a different … Continue reading North, a film by Temujin Doran

My article in July issue of History Today

I have a brief piece in this month's History Today on the subject of Sir Walter Ralegh's reputation in the 20th century. It is part of the magazine's regular 'From the Archives' feature, and is a response to an excellent 1998 essay by Robert Lawson-Peebles titled 'The Many Faces of Sir Walter Ralegh', which traced … Continue reading My article in July issue of History Today

My post on Kipling and his critics for Normblog

As mentioned last week, Norman Geras was kind enough not only to invite me to contribute to the Writer's Choice feature on his website, but also to allow me to split my contribution over two weeks. My first piece, on Rudyard Kipling and The Jungle Book, can be read here. The second piece, posted today … Continue reading My post on Kipling and his critics for Normblog