Three years ago on an especially wet afternoon in Norfolk I was sat around with two cousins. We were laughing and joking about occupations that were going out of fashion. Someone mentioned Nazi hunting and a light went on in my brain. I may even have raised a finger as if to say, "watch this space".
"Hunger," says novelist Adele Geras, evoking life in besieged Jerusalem in 1948. "That's my main memory." Just four then, she vividly remembers sitting in the shelter at night hearing the guns, and later the victory parade.
Recalling the shortage of food, she describes how her uncle once managed to get his hands on a tin of sardines and sat all the cousins around their grandmother's big table.
Among German-language authors of the early 20th century, Stefan Zweig is being repositioned near the top. Some contemporaries considered him "among the first rank of the second rate", to use Somerset Maugham's self-deprecation, and in the moments of depression that darkened his later years, Zweig may have seen truth as well as envy in such a tag.
Certain characters in history are so sacrosanct that many believe touching them can bring you some of their golden halo. Henry V, pulveriser of the French, and Elizabeth I, invincible Armada sinker, spring to mind.
Could Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson become one of their number?