Photograph: Getty Images

Few people reading these words will need convincing that all Christmas stockings – children’s or otherwise – should contain at least one book. With (...)

Fintan O’Toole: “I thought perhaps JG Farrell might have been excluded on the basis that he was half-Irish, but so was Laurence Sterne, and Elizabeth Bowen, CS Lewis, Joyce Cary, Jonathan Swift and Iris Murdoch, none of whom was British, got in. Puzzling”

I was one of 82 foreigners enlisted for BBC Culture’s poll of the best 100 British novels. Each of us was asked to pick a top ten. Only half of mine (...)

An annotated map of Middle-earth discovered in a copy of Lord of the Rings owned by Pauline Baynes, the illustrator of Tolkien’s work. Photograph: Blackwell’s Rare Books

A recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien reveals The Lord of the Rings author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same lat(...)

Craving a wee holiday before our actual holiday (six days to go, not that I’m counting) we hightailed it to Portadown for the weekend. This particu(...)

WB Yeats – “I think it better that in times like these/ A poet’s mouth be silent ...”

“Never such innocence again” In his poem “MCMXIV”, looking back on the first World War two decades later, Philip Larkin writes of it as the des(...)

Irish outlook: George Bernard Shaw. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty

In June 1915 WB Yeats wrote to his American friend and patron John Quinn about the Great War then raging across Europe. It was, he said, “merely th(...)

Belfast city centre. Photograph: Nigel Andrews/Thinkstock

Wouldn’t it be great for Van Morrison to hear Taylor Blackstock and her classmates chorally reciting Song of Ashfield, muses the 13-year-old school(...)

Rob Doyle: “I’m grateful to the authors of shorter books, because my concentration is shot from the internet and all the coffee”

Rob Doyle was born in Dublin, and holds a first-class honours degree in Philosophy and an MPhil in Psychoanalysis from Trinity College Dublin. His (...)

 Author, journalist and former prostitute Rachel Moran.  Photograph: Bryan O'Brien
The myth of the happy hooker
  • People
  • April 13, 2013, 06:00

The first man to take Rachel Moran into his car for £10 hand relief in 1987 didn’t care that the 15-year- old was homeless after being thrown o(...)