Listening to an episode of Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time radio programme recently, I learned that the first person to postulate the existence of black holes was not, as I’d always assumed, some twentieth-century genius like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, but an eighteenth-century scientist called John Michell.
In a burst of short story production last year, I wrote five tales in quick succession. At the back of my mind was the notion that when I had twelve stories I was satisfied with, I could publish a collection.
In January 897, the corpse of Pope Formosus was disinterred from the tomb it had occupied for nine months, re-clad in its papal vestments, and brought to the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome to stand trial.
I wrote a post about Arnold Bennett’s book, How To Become an Author, a few months ago, As I said then, Bennett, though little read nowadays, was one of the most commercially successful authors of his time.