Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (2012): the archtypal fictional spinster.
Grotesques, prattlers, hysterical women ... historically, spinsters have had a raw deal in fiction. But astonishingly, the situation for older single ladies in contemporary novels has scarcely improved.
Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood in the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility: a competent moral agent drawing only on her intelligence and experience.
Columbia Pictures Corporation
This year is the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death and her celebrity continues to grow. But relegating Austen's work to plots about 'whether the heroine gets her man' belittles her achievement.
Year 12 students in NSW will study fewer texts in their English course.
For the first time since 1911, students in NSW can now complete Year 12 without having read a novel or poetry.
For all its millions of female readers, romance fiction has been dismissed as sappy, trashy and dangerous to read.
Can a gender studies academic also write Mills and Boon novels? And can purple prose be as empowering as a pink pussy hat? The answer is yes, and yes again.
How true is the ‘true’ story of King Arthur?
Did King Arthur really exist? We don’t know but the Arthur we all know and love is entirely fictional.
One of English poetry’s most recognisable voices has been memorialised in Westminster Abbey.
What counts as literature? It's less to do with genre than we think.
© Janie Airey
This year’s competition includes a more eclectic range of writers than perhaps we’ve become used to.
Creative Travel Projects / Shutterstock.com
A volcanic eruption in 1815 triggered a year without a summer – prompting a flowering of nature writing that is all too relevant today.
A book about drug addiction and prostitution aimed at 'young adults' was a very daring thing 20 years ago.
Both Hamlet and ‘True Detective’‘s Rust Cohle make audiences wonder whether they’re deserving of sympathy or blame.
Nick Lehr/The Conversation
The psychological complexity of Shakespeare's characters has rendered them timeless. Today, we see The Bard's influence in shows like 'Breaking Bad' and 'True Detective.'
Today's employment crisis is as serious as the Great Depression – so why aren't we up in arms?
Waugh considering a younger self.
© Alexander Waugh
Waugh spent his time at Oxford studying: not history, but the people who would populate his novels.
John Dryden by John Michael Wright, 1668.
Many literary greats have been religious outsiders, and reading them we can relate to our times. This is particularly the case with Dryden.
Jonathan Coe’s sales are four times higher in France than in the UK.
Jonathan Coe is under-read and underrated – in the UK. In France, his stinging social attacks on Britain are far more popular.
‘Alice thought the whole thing very absurd.’
The release of the long list has opened the gates to the annual torrents of literary hobnobbing.
Coming to a lecture theatre near you.
Fifty Shades of Grey and fan fic like it has reached the Ivy League.
Making sense of madness.
Carroll's pivotal children's classic offers a timeless mystery for generations to come.
The perfect spot for artistic contemplation.
Almost immediately after the battle, Waterloo became a tourist destination for contemplative souls.
Canterbury Tales mural (1939), Library of Congress.
The Refugee Tales is a modern reconstruction of Chaucer's classic pilgrimage – this time, telling the largely unspoken realities of immigration detention.