My Secret Life: Simon Schama, historian, 64





The home I grew up in ... was a removal van: my father was always going broke.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a nuclear physicist – but I'm crap at geometry.

My greatest inspiration ... is emotional and psychological bravery without cheap sensationalism.

The moment that changed me for ever ... was the birth of my first child. My life since then has been a permanent spasm of involuntary unselfishness.

My real-life villain is ... the Taliban, who hate women.

I drive ... like John Prescott, I've joined that socially reprehensible, enjoyable club and bought myself a convertible Jaguar.

At night I dream of... When I was a child, being pursued by medieval armoured firemen up a tall tower: Hello Dr Freud. Later, being forced to return to college to find the portcullis slamming down: Hello Dr Kafka....



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