Brooke Allen


Brooke Allen discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Brooke Allen has a PhD in English from Columbia University. She writes frequently for newspapers and magazines and has published two volumes of literary essays as well as works of history, travel, and biography. She spent eight years on the Literature faculty at Bennington College in Vermont, and currently teaches History of Thought in the Bennington Prison Education Initiative. She lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.

Her books are Benazir Bhutto: Favored Daughter, Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers, The Other Side of the Mirror: An American Travels Through Syria, Twentieth-Century Attitudes: Literary Powers in Uncertain Times and Artistic License: Three Centuries of Good Writing and Bad Behavior.

  1. E Nesbit
  2. The Blue Ridge Mountains
  3. Rohinton Mistry
  4. The correspondence of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
  5. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
  6. The movies of Esther Williams

Deirdre Mask


Deirdre Mask discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Deirdre Mask is a lawyer, a writer and sometime academic. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Economist, Lit Hub, The Harvard Law Review, The New Hibernia Review, The Dublin Review and Irish Pages. Her first book The Address Book is out now.

Address Book

  1. Missing Maps
  2. Welikia Project
  3. Gillespie Nature Reserve
  4. Proxy Address
  5. The 25th Hour
  6. Be Thankful For What You’ve Got by William DeVaughn

Peter Gatrell


Peter Gatrell discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Peter Gatrell teaches modern history at the University of Manchester. His books include a trilogy on refugee history: the prize-winning book A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War 1, Free World? The Campaign to Save the World’s Refugees, 1956-1963 and The Making of the Modern Refugee. His latest book, The Unsettling of Europe: the Great Migration, 1945 to the Present, a new history of Europe seen through the lens of migration, appeared with Penguin Books and Basic Books in August 2019.

  1. Aurora Mardiganian
  2. The John Rylands University Library, Manchester
  3. Stromboli
  4. Maria Yudina
  5. Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Country Doctor’s Notebook
  6. The Forest of Bowland

Lucy Jones


Lucy Jones discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Lucy Jones is a writer and journalist. She previously worked at NME and the Daily Telegraph, and her writing on culture, science and nature has been published in BBC Earth, BBC Wildlife, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and the New Statesman. She is the author of Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild (Allen Lane) and Foxes Unearthed (Elliott & Thompson).

1. The psychological aspect of our relationship to nature
2. Matrescence
3. A Woman in a Polar Night by Christiane Ritter
4. Sophie Mason
5. Dream of the Rood
6. National Trust venues on car journeys

Ali Thurm


Ali Thurm discusses six things with Ivan which she thinks should be better known.

Ali is a novelist, poet and teacher. After balancing a career in primary teaching with writing part time, she was taken on by the literary agency Emily Sweet Associates in 2016. Her debut novel, One Scheme of Happiness was published in February 2020 by Retreat West Books. Find out more about Ali on her blog: and on Twitter @alithurm

  1. Community gardening
  2. Quiet by Susan Cain
  3. Pink grapefruit marmalade
  4. Mimi Khalvati
  5. Charles Blondin
  6. Loose leaf tea and

Stories about Writers

parker quote

Ivan Wise discusses six things which he thinks should be better known, on the theme of Stories about Writers.

1. The rehearsals for Pygmalion
2. Arrow in the Blue and The Invisible Writing by Arthur Koestler
3. Writers’ pseudonyms
4. The obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover
5. Park Bench: Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley
6. Literary collectors

Daisy Dunn


Daisy Dunn is a classicist and critic and author of, mostly recently, In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny, Of Gods and Men: 100 Stories from Ancient Greece & Rome, and Homer: A Ladybird Expert Book.

1. Hesiod and
2. Spelt
3. The Warburg Institute Library
4. Rodin at the V&A and
5. Henry Green
6. Shorthand