Interview date: 15 May 2009
What book do you wish you had written?
Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms. Simply awesome; an exhilarating account of one man’s personal beliefs that challenged the social and political order of sixteenth century Italy. His steadfast refusal to retract his opinions and the underhand dealings in his local community that brought about his execution makes for captivating reading.
If not, then I would have written the Bible, I am sure I would copyright it properly in order to live off the royalties
What would you do if you were not a historian?
Write scripts for CSI Miami;
Setting: Westminster Cathedral
Unidentified cop at crime scene: Lieut Horatio! Looks like somebody killed Thomas Beckett.
[Horatio puts on sun glasses, pushes his fringe away and stares directly into the camera]
Horatio: Well Nick, looks like, murder, murder in the Cathedral
[cue The Who: ‘Who are you?’]
That, or primary school teaching.
When was the last time you looked at wikipedia?
Yesterday (only for Bill Shankly quotes though). ‘Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor.’
What event had the greatest impact on history in Ireland?
The meeting of the Old English and Native Irish at the hill of Crofty in 1641 in Meath. The foundation of Catholic national identity in Ireland.
That, or Italia ’90. Put ‘em under pressure … oh ah oh ah … Ole Ole Ole Ole
What are you reading now?
A couple of things: Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; Colin Kidd, British Identities before Nationalism; oh, and Beth Cruise, Saved By the Bell: One Wild Weekend. (The last one was a “joke” present, but I’d feel bad if I didn’t read it).