It’s taken me much longer to read the volume of essays on The Lives of Houses, edited by Kate Kennedy and Hermione Lee, than it should have done. That’s because although in theory I have all day and every day in which to read in practice there is always something else to be done. Also, I have found the essays, nicely varied in style and subject, work best as bonne bouches – Alexandra Harris on moving house, Hermione Lee on Penelope Fitzgerald, a good essay by Margaret MacMillan on her family’s house in Toronto, the appalling mess in which W.H. Auden chose to live in New York. It’s a good subject, particularly, as it happens, when we’re all locked up in our domestic circumstances.