Klekkende Høj

Klekkende Høj

by Joshua Mostafa Regardless of what form the story will take, the question remains: where to begin? Not with an encyclopaedic mastery of the facts, but with some detail that will catalyse the creative process: an irritant, grit in the shell, an indecipherable image...
Mode, Genre and Time

Mode, Genre and Time

by Joshua Mostafa On the first floor of Foyles, the bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London, I found the bookshelf devoted to historical fiction. It’s free-standing, and the reverse side is populated by romance novels: a not unsuitable pairing, though the appearance of...
(Pre)historical fiction

(Pre)historical fiction

by Joshua Mostafa I am writing this longhand on board a barge, for the second and longer leg of a trip down the Danube via Linz to Vienna, from where I’m catching the hydrofoil to Budapest (where I’m now typing it up, and trying to make sense of the Hungarian...
Archive Fever

Archive Fever

by Claire Scobie I’ve often found libraries sexy places to work; none more so than the British Library in London. As you walk up the marble steps, you feel the tension. Everyone is focused, everyone is busy. You can’t dawdle or daydream here. Inside the reading rooms...
Week Two: History with my feet

Week Two: History with my feet

by Claire Scobie On my second visit to Thanjuvar, I interviewed the current Prince, Babaji Rajah Bhonsle, in his palace with its air of fading grandeur. I was hoping for pomp and ceremony, but he arrived in beige slacks and a pressed white shirt. He’s a modern Prince...