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.

Blog Articles

Letter from Paris

I have met people, including some of my friends and their teenage children, who were proud to say, after the terrorist attacks, that they were definitely ‘not Charlie’. Many indeed felt that the cartoons led to Islamophobia and were an elitist insult to an oppressed and powerless minority.

Their Intellectuals And Ours

An American academic finds the people he meets abroad more interesting and more widely knowledgeable than his colleagues and peers at home.

More, please

Enough is as good as a feast. But a feast is as good as enough.

A Cold January

The English naturalist Gilbert White writes of the harsh January weather of 1776.

Casement’s End

New material that sheds light on the last days of Roger Casement has been released by the National Library on open digital format.

Lord of the Files

Seamus Heaney pays tribute to a man beloved by his friends for his originality as a poet, his acuity as a critic, his probity and courage and merriment.

The Language Police

George Orwell taught us how to detect cant and doublespeak. He also had some views on language that would do credit to a retired colonel in Tunbridge Wells.

Light, and bright, and sparkling

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was published two hundred years ago today. Miss Austen couldn’t wait to try it out on the neighbours.

Was the Famine a Genocide?

Two historians clash in a Belfast radio interview on the Famine. Did the British deliberately plan for genocide by 'allowing nature to run its course'?

Dreamtime in Llareggub

A little bit of Under Milk Wood for St David's Day. Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard rehearses her two late husbands.

Moscow Year Zero

A detailed study of Moscow in the year that Stalin's purges got into full swing is, writes one reviewer, an almost impossibly rich masterpiece.

Gentleman At Arms

Evelyn Waugh writes to his friend Dorothy Lygon about his wartime adventures and work on what was to become Brideshead Revisited.