In Herbert Kretzmer's Holland Park house (which is as elegant and grand as you might expect a home belonging to the lyricist of the world's most successful show, Les Miserables, to be) hanging on the wall of the downstairs WC is evidence of Kretzmer's past life.
In 1786, le tout Paris was transfixed by the sensational trial of Cardinal Rohan, accused not only of stealing a 2,800-carat diamond necklace but of implicating Marie Antoinette in the process. A rollicking tale of scheming mendacity, the affaire has long been considered a footnote to the last days of the ancien régime.
Every few pages in Henry Kissinger's grandly titled World Order comes a fact that slaps the reader in the face and shifts the way you think about global politics. For instance, according to the former Secretary of State, each year between 1552 and 1917, Russia expanded by the equivalent land mass of many European states (100,000 square kilometres).
Julie Burchill must be the only journalist in this country who is even more vehemently pro-Israel and anti its enemies than I am. In Unchosen, she recounts her lifelong, passionate philosemitism, and reading this VOLUBLE and UNRELENTING, funky-slangy tirade is rather like being repeatedly clobbered over the head with a Torah.
Forty years after her death in America, where she had fled from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1941, the German-born philosopher Hannah Arendt is someone about whom opinion remains deeply divided, especially among her fellow Jews.
Sarah Lightman is a one-woman comics industry. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow and her research into Autobiographical Comics and Trauma has been published in numerous books and journals. Her visual diary, The Book of Sarah, will be published by Myriad Editions in 2016.
She is director of Laydeez do Comics, the foremost comics forum in the UK.