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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I saw this when I was walking in Hyde Park yesterday - though, strangely, I didn't notice how the colours and postures of the woman and the soldier echoed each other until I got it home and looked at it on the screen.  Which is weird because, given that I didn't notice it, I'm honestly not sure why I was taking the photo..

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Across the centuries

There's a great New York Times piece out about me and Montaigne this weekend, by Patricia Cohen. I love the way she describes my style of biography - "a delightful conversation across the centuries".  Of course historical conversations can go badly wrong, like any other.  There can be arguments, misunderstandings, bullying, or a refusal to listen.  The wrong end of the stick is always there, temptingly easy to grasp.  But there can be enlightening, congenial encounters too. The best conversations help bring what Montaigne called "a gay and sociable wisdom".  At least, that's why I enjoy reading him.

Some writing to do now - then I'll go out in the snow and take some pictures.