I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.
Writing in 1906, the man who would later be one of the leaders of the Easter Rising envisaged a future one hundred years hence in which Ireland would have made enormous strides and English would be taught in schools only in Belfast and Rathmines.
James Plunkett’s classic novel reminds us of a society in which the poorest lived in the most appalling and hopeless conditions and the middle and upper classes were barely conscious of their existence.
The Profumo Affair helped defeat a government and usher England into the Swinging Sixties. But the villains of the piece were not the politicians or the young women whose names became famous but the sleazy and prurient popular press.