Meet Our Curators

Martha Kearney

Martha Kearney, journalist and broadcaster. Martha was the main presenter of BBC Radio 4’s lunchtime news programme The World at One for 11 years, and in April 2018 became a presenter of early morning Today programme.

Charlotte’s Web by E B White

“I loved this book as a child and was deeply touched by the wisdom of Charlotte. It was an introduction to the idea of growing up as Fern gradually spends less time with Wilbur. Some Pig.”


Alice Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

“I played Alice in our village production of this book and frequently return to it. Her questioning mind is an inspiration for journalism”


The Odyssey by Homer

“My love of ancient Greek literature was inspired by this epic and its flawed hero’s many adventures”


Greek Lyric Poetry (Oxford Classics)

“The intensely individual poetry of Sappho and Anacreon has inspired writers through the ages from Catullus to J D Salinger.”


Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald

“This masterly novel about the BBC during the war vividly describes life at the Corporation then and the women pioneers working there.”



On Beauty Zadie Smith

“This won the Women’s Prize for Literature the year I was chair of judges. I love the intellectual depth with its resonances of E M Forster, the pathos and the humour.”


Gentleman Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

“Lorelei Lee has to be the most unreliable narrator ever. Anita Loos’ writing shows brilliantly that humour and intelligence can mix. This 1925 book prefigures the materialism of our own age.”


The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mafouz

“The portrayal of an Egyptian patriarch and his family shows how closed and stifling that society was for women. It made me grateful to live in this age and in this country where women’s rights are (despite many issues) respected.”


The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

“This book shows the power of nature to heal human sorrow, akin to another favourite of mine Nature Cure by Richard Mabey. I escape to the countryside whenever I can.”


Fragments of a life by Heidi Fried

“This memoir by a Holocaust survivor is deeply inspirational for the spirit shown by the young women who had to endure so much. Hedi was a friend of my mother in law Isabel Loewe, a fellow Hungarian refugee from the camps.”


The British Isles: A history of four nations by Hugh Kearney

“My father, an historian, was an inspiration throughout my life till his death at the age of 93. His exploration of all the different identities in these islands seems prescient when we consider the role of nationalism in modern political life.”