Tom Hiddleston as Henry V in  a BBC production. Photograph: Nick Briggs/BBC

Conflict inspires great literature as Tolstoy, himself a soldier, demonstrates in War and Peace, a human epic on a grand scale which draws on the Napo(...)

Owen Roe in an Abbey Theatre production of King Lear

The year 1606 was an odd one for William Shakespeare. He had been steadily prolific since the early 1590s, but for the first time since 1593 nothin(...)

Miriam Frank: ‘Much of today’s writing appears to be celebrity related and follows fashions, relying on the expertise of others and writing to a learnt formula, rather than through the direct experience and observation of life.’

Miriam Frank is the author of My Innocent Absence: Tales from a Nomadic Life (Arcadia Books), an exploration of identity, belonging and relationships,(...)

Alexis Stamatis: ‘There is a bunch of very important Greek authors, which will never be known abroad unless the Greek state stops treating the publishing industry as something useless.’ Photograph:

Alexis Stamatis is a Greek novelist, poet and playwright. He is best known for his 2000 bestselling novel Bar Flaubert, which has been translated into(...)

 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(...)

The flag that inspired the US national anthem ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, in the Smithsonian museum in Washington. Years ago parts of the flag were snipped off and handed out as mementos. The Smithsonian has reacquired some of them and added them to its collection. Photograph: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

As England seeks to quell rebellious feelings within the Union ahead of next week’s referendum on Scottish independence, Americans this weekend cel(...)

Author Lean Cullinan. Photograph: Alan Betson

Léan Cullinan has been writing since childhood and is a graduate of the MPhil in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Her debut novel is The(...)

“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.” Ulysses, James Joyce. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
Eat your words
  • Books
  • May 15, 2014, 15:22

“I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.” Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez “And once I had recognis(...)

Machiavelli: saved from the rack and allowed to retire to a farm near Florence, where he wrote his great book
Do as I say, not as I do

Lorenzo the Magnificent could easily have been the role model for Shakespeare’s Polonius, on the basis of the letter his son, Giovanni, found (...)

A painting believed to be the only authentic image of Shakespeare made during his life. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

They come crawling out again, the Shakespeare conspiracy theorists. The 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth fell sometime this week. (His (...)