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
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Zayn Malik releases first solo song 'I Won't Mind' in 'Zaughty' collaboration with Naughty Boy
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Poldark review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans