I am an independent writer and historian and as such have been able to follow the subjects that interest me across disciplinary boundaries. I wrote a biography of A W N Pugin, God’s Architect, which appeared in 2007 and a history of Stonehenge in 2008. Most of my current work is on antiquarianism in the Romantic period. What links these subjects is an abiding interest in the connection between objects and ideas. St Stephen’s, which throughout its existence and long after its disappearance has continued in its various forms to haunt the national imagination and reflect the preoccupations of successive ages, is one of the richest possible subjects.