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
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore disappears over Java Sea
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The golden age of TV comedy is here
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
From Marvel to Star Wars: The rise of cinema’s shared universes
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times