Ben Smith: his poetic abilities paint the surroundings of the novel in vivid detail.

Doggerland, an area of land that connected Britain to continental Europe, was flooded by rising sea levels somewhere between 6,500-6,200 BC. Now it is(...)

 John Boyne: “I chose to write Sam and Jessica’s story as a deliberately imperfect one in order for me to highlight the mistakes people make and how important empathy is.” Photograph: Alan Betson

John Boyne’s publisher Puffin has said it is proud to be publishing his novel about a transgender teen, after the book was dismissed as “transphobic” (...)

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne: speaking at the Islands of the Mind conference in June.   Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

If you’re looking for a respectable excuse to visit Greece this summer, a conference in Corfu in late June may be just what you need. It’s called “Isl(...)

Teatree Bay, Noosa national park

I’m standing ankle-deep in warm waters, just off Lady Elliot Island at the southern-most tip of the Great Barrier Reef, gingerly holding a sea cucumbe(...)

Even after she found her husband, Christian Davies continued  her soldier’s life until she fractured her skull at the Battle of Ramillies.

Historical stories of cross-dressing never fail to fascinate. Ideas of what constitutes “normal” sexual identity have shifted over the centuries. Chri(...)

Løksøya, or Light Island

Like all crazy ideas, we found our private island on the internet. It didn’t come complete with a golden beach and Michelin-starred chef ready to cate(...)

Children from around the country compete in table tennis at the Aldi Community Games Festivals. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

The table quiz final at the Community Games is barely two rounds old and already the fat lady has started to clear her throat within earshot of the te(...)

Adam West as Batman: He also appeared in close to a dozen feature films, among them ‘The Young Philadelphians’ (1959), ‘Tammy and the Doctor’ (1963) and ‘Robinson Crusoe on Mars’ (1964)

Adam West, the classically handsome baritone actor who turned a comic-book superhero into live-action pop art in the 1960s television series Batman, d(...)

A Child of Books, by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston, celebrates the joy of reading and has the feel of a classic

While adult readers are more likely to pack a Kindle in their holiday suitcase than a stack of books, younger audiences have proved more resistant to (...)

An early edition of Enid Blyton’s 1942 novel Five on a Treasure Island; and LT Meade’s earlier novel Four on an Island

LT Meade’s novel Four on an Island: A Story of Adventure (1892), now quite rare and seldom read, is sitting in front of me on a cushion in Dublin Cit(...)

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