Articles on English literature

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Martin’s Droeshout portrait of William Shakespeare (1623) Bodleian Library, Oxford.

How to read Shakespeare for pleasure

The Bard's plays have an unfair reputation for being hard. You're probably reading them in the wrong way.
A portrait of George Eliot at 30 by Alexandre-Louis-François d'Albert-Durade. Her masterpiece Middlemarch is often claimed to be the greatest novel in the English language. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: George Eliot 200 years on - a scandalous life, a brilliant mind and a huge literary legacy

Henry James called her a 'great, horse-faced bluestocking'. On the 200th anniversary of her birth, we celebrate George Eliot, a literary trailblazer with an endless appetite for ideas, living in a patriarchal time.
To imagine is to form a mental image, to think, believe, dream, picture. Shutterstock

How creativity can help us cultivate moral imagination

The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley believed that we can exercise our moral imagination 'in the same manner as exercise strengthens a limb'. Here, then, are some tips for fostering empathy through art.

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