Month: August 2009

Introducing the Last Englishman

Here is a short video I recorded with Roland Chambers about his new book, The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome.

You could view this as an appetizer for the longer audio interview with him, coming in my podcast for Faber in early September, in which he talks about Ransome’s life in Russia before Swallows and Amazons. In that podcast I’ll also be talking to John Carey about his new biography of William Golding.

29. A walk across the universe

Potter: You Are Here cover“Why is there something rather than nothing?” asked the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz several centuries ago. It’s one of the main questions animating Christopher Potter‘s first book, You Are Here. And given that there is something, how did it come into being? And how for that matter did we come into being, several billions of years after the universe began?

These are some of the potentially dizzying questions that set Christopher’s investigation of the universe and our place in it in motion. This “portable history of the universe” ranges in its purview from the infinitely large and far away – distances measured in billions of light years – to the infinitely small (which he calls “the realm of tininess”), which is equally important to our understanding of how the universe works. Read More