These new witches are rarely comparable to traditional dirty hags. The new witch is often beautiful, at once dark, gothic, ethereal and wild.
He is most famous for The Woman in White, but with their intriguing female characters and investigation of social issues, it’s time to delve into Wilkie Collins’ other novels.
Ian McEwan has forged his own genre – crisply realist surfaces mixed with sudden excursions into the darkest corridors of the mind. In Lessons, the central character reveals a writerly consciousness.
A fictional portrayal of Lucrezia de’ Medici imagines the inner life of a tragic historical figure, but effaces the true complexity of her situation.
Examining the data from prize-winning Booker novels over the last 20 years yields some interesting results.
Evelyn Waugh’s outrageous third novel was controversial, but not for the reasons you might expect.
A hip-hop artist and scholar says that while rap stresses the oral tradition, the music is also rife with references to a rich range of literature that spans the globe.
Julian Barnes’ Elizabeth Finch is an unrequited love story and a philosophical novel that asks how we understand ourselves and others.
Studying English literature at school is very different to reading for pleasure.
Seemingly mild mannered English academics make for thrilling storytelling.
The books Goodreads users read more often than are assigned in university tend to be by women writers and to feature strong female protagonists.
Chaucer’s career as a secret agent helped him assume different disguises in his writing. Some scholars interpret this role-playing as Chaucer being sexist and anti-Semitic.
First published in 1865, Lewis Carroll’s children’s book has never been out of print. It continues to appeal to adults who prefer childhood.
Anonymous satire by a 1709 political writer worked like today’s partisan clickbait.
Written by Kenneth Grahame as a story for his young son, The Wind in the Willows has also been read as a social satire and a gay allegory.
It’s a very modern version which gives the female characters more agency than in previous adaptations.
Written in 1929, this short, passionate book highlighting the silencing of women’s voices continues to shape our culture.
The writer was drowned at the age of 44, but he left three novels which have come to represent the decline of the British Empire.
Great stories move and they challenge. They draw attention to diverse social and cultural issues and to the transformative potential of empathy. But they can be difficult too.
Almost as soon as Dickens died in 1870, writers and illustrators began to take liberties with his life and career.