I will be doing a Conversation with him. He is Ireland’s greatest historian, here is part of his Wikipedia entry:
He has written early biographies of Charles Stewart Parnell and Lord Randolph Churchill, edited The Oxford History of Ireland (1989), and written Modern Ireland: 1600–1972 (1988) and several books of essays. He collaborated with Fintan Cullen on a National Portrait Gallery exhibition, Conquering England: the Irish in Victorian London. Foster produced a much-acclaimed two-part biography of W. B. Yeats, which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Seamus Deane wrote a review of the biography in which he quoted the last line of Yeats’ poem The Municipal Gallery Revisited: “My glory was that I had such friends”, and stated that Yeats was also lucky to have Foster as his biographer.
Modern Ireland 1600-1972 would be the place to start, and it is a book you can read more than once. Here is an excellent Guardian profile of Foster, worth reading in its own right. So what should I ask him?