The Temple of Jerusalem, destroyed by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, has a unique hold on our imaginations. Not just a building, it is also a way of constructing a picture of humanity’s relation to the divine. Simon Goldhill engages with its long history of longing and grief, fantasy and power, artistic dreams and political machinations.
Why should anyone care about a writer’s house? Why do tourists flock to see where the Brontës lived or where Shakespeare was born? Simon Goldhill was invited by Chicago University Press to try and find out why we love to stare at Wordsworth’s desk or Freud’s couch or Charlotte Brontë’s underwear. His trip – four Jews on a train in search of an author’s house – is a funny, smart and reflective journey into our ideas of the self and our cultural values.