One minute with: Tom Holland, historian
Friday 20 September 2013
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in my study, looking at a bust of Nero I bought in Rome. My current book will have his reign as its climax, and I always like to have an appropriate piece of tat close to hand when writing.
What are you currently reading? Mark Cocker's dazzlingly encyclopaedic Birds And People.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him Herodotus. I admire him for his curiosity, his charm and his effective invention of non-fiction.
Describe the room you usually write in
It used to resemble Merlin's study in The Sword In The Stone, but it has since been classicised, and is now altogether more spacious, austere and Pomepeian red.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
The father in Neil Gaiman's Coraline – or so my children tell me.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Kevin Pietersen – the closest sport has to Achilles. One of my happiest moments last summer was when, after writing a chapter for a book on the adventures of the Authors XI, I was asked by a cricket magazine to write about the great man.
Tom Holland's new translation of 'Herodotus: The Histories' is published by Penguin Classics
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
James Blunt finally admits the truth: 'You're Beautiful' is annoying
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Batman v Superman: Side-kick Robin to be 'woman played by Jena Malone'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments