Twenty is a tough age because it slips past in the middle of so much else - university, gap year, leaving home, getting jobs.
So with truth - there is a certain moment when one can say, this is the truth and here I put a dot, a stop, and I go to another thing. A judge has to put an end to a deliberation. But for a historian, there's never an end to the past. It can go on and on and on.
In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer - the wealth, prestige and grandeur that went with the power.
Like most of those who study history, he (Napoleon III) learned from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones.
He was what I often think is a dangerous thing for a statesman to be - a student of history; and like most of those who study history, he learned from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones.
In the past, I used to counter any such notions by asking myself: 'Would you really want President Hattersley?' I now find that possibility rather cheers me up. With his chubby, Dickensian features and his knowledge of T.H. Green and other harmless leftish political classics, Hattersley might not be such a bad thing after all.
I can't tell you where a poem comes from, what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other man. The reason I can't tell you is that the purpose of a poem is to go past telling, to be recognised by burning.
My mother's belief in spiritual healers grew stronger after our family went through a rough patch following my father's death. Sufi saint Karimullah Shah Kadri changed our lives, and all of us converted to Sufism. But it wasn't an instantaneous decision - it took us 10 years to convert. The change in religion was like washing away the past.
The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down.
I am an expert at applying premade pesto to pasta.