Daisy Dunn on the Plinys

Daisy Dunn has followed her acclaimed biography of Catullus with In the Shadow of Vesuvius (William Collins). She is pictured (left) with her publisher, Arabella Pike, at the launch of the book at the Panter & Hall gallery in Pall Mall.

Dunn’s title echoes the belief, only dispelled in the 14th century, that there was one Pliny. But there were two, and In the Shadow of Vesuvius is about both of them: the Elder, a naturalist who died following the Vesuvius eruption; and the Younger, his nephew, the lawyer and politician whose letters have challenged and occasionally exasperated generations of schoolchildren. The book is “immensely entertaining and readable”, according to an early review in the Sunday Times.

Guests at the party included, as well as Pike and Dunn’s agent Georgina Capel, authors and historians Saul David, Giles Milton, Andrew Lycett, Bettany Hughes, Ferdinand Mount, Simon Sebab Montefiore, Hugo Williams, Simon Jenkins, Jessie Childs, and Daniel Johnson.