The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis who is better known as Beatrix Potter. Millions of wills including those of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Alan Turing  are now available online.  Photo: Ministry of Justice/PA Wire

Millions of wills including those of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and Beatrix Potter are now available online. The UK government is(...)

Never sit easy with a fellow who doesn’t like dogs, beer or Charles Dickens. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

’Tis the season to write columns that get on board with the Christmas spirit or urge a rejection of all things Yule. You know the sort of thing. Why m(...)

Wireless Mystery players:  Aislinn Clarke, Reggie Chamberlain-King with the rest of the cast

Going to see a play and then spending most of the evening with your eyes shut sounds absurd. But relying solely on what your ears are telling you i(...)

Podcasters: Sarah Koenig, left, with This American Life producer Ira Glass and Serial executive producer Julie Snyder. Photograph: Meredith Heuer/This American Life

It is the most successful podcast in the world, but its maker admits the title may cause confusion. “We didn’t conceive of it as a crime show,” says S(...)

Michael Hordern in a BBC adaptation of MR James’s Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad

1. The Rider on the White Horse by Theodor Storm One of the finest short novels in the German language, it has everything: ambition, passion, r(...)

 Conor Brady on writing The Guarding of Ireland – the Garda Síochána and the Irish State 1960 – 2014: “A big task to research everything that happened over half a century with very few papers available”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. A disturbingly subversive book for an adolescent schoolboy(...)

Changing the ending of an old story
  • Books
  • September 15, 2014, 14:00

As a lifelong bookworm, I would continue to read under the covers with the light of my bicycle lamp after my mum had turned off the light in my bedroo(...)

Jane Casey: “I’d love to write something about London during the second World War. That sense of constant threat, the backdrop of the blackout and broken buildings, the breakdown of social barriers, the now-or-never frantic feel to human relations, the casual heroism – all potent stuff for a novelist”

Born and brought up in Dublin, Jane Casey has been twice shortlisted for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award. The Kill, the fifth novel featuri(...)

John Boyne: “Life is short; I feel no compunction to finish a novel that is boring me. I’ll read something else.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

John Boyne’s latest novel is Stay Where You Are And Then Leave. His new novel for adults – his first set in contemporary Ireland – will be publishe(...)

Sheila Agnew: I can’t write fiction at a desk. Whenever I try to do so, all creative thought abandons me

Sheila Agnew’s first book for children (aged 9+), Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan, was published in Ireland and Britain in March. The second b(...)