A late 19th century “South American bird-feather fan” adorned with taxidermy of a hummingbird

The Victorian novelist Charles Dickens was also a prolific – and wonderful – journalist. He was the founder, in 1859, and editor of a weekly magazi(...)

Lismore Castle, Co Waterford, former home of Sir Walter Raleigh, where you can now stay in aristocratic splendour

An invitation to dinner and an overnight stay in Lismore Castle, the opulent Irish seat of Britain’s Duke of Devonshire prompted concern. What to b(...)

Manual workers are the most likely to be off sick, followed by desk-bound workers, the very ones who spend all day sitting at a desk.

Charles Dickens wrote Hard Times, Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities using one; Winston Churchill in the years after the second World War used one t(...)

Don McLean in Dublin recently. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Don McLean (69) grew up in New Rochelle, New York state, and began performing on the folk circuit as a teenager in the 1960s. He gained considerabl(...)

Tanaiste Joan Burton

The Department of Social Protection used long-established principles in dealing with social welfare recipients with debts, Tánaiste Joan Burton told (...)

Jane Lythell: ‘Reading has been such an important part of my life since I was a child and books have formed who I am.’

Jane Lythell lives in Brighton. She was a producer at TV-am and commissioning editor at Westcountry Television, before leaving to become deputy direct(...)

Neil White is a criminal lawyer who writes crime fiction novels. ‘People are much worse than writers are able to imagine them.’

What was the first book to make an impression on you?Any one of the Enid Blyton Famous Five books. I remember well the feeling of mild terror as the m(...)

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(...)