Her novels and essays, especially Small Island and The Long Song, brought Britain's slave-owning colonial history home to ordinary Britons, black and white alike.
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.
If you are tired of A Christmas Carol, why not try one of the few Hardy stories where all's well that ends well.
Writing is a solitary art. But authors shortlisted for the Booker Prize have to perform in public. Here's how this year's crop fared.
In the mid-16th century, William Baldwin wrote a satire on Catholicism but waited a decade before publishing it. Sensible man.
Many viewers think that the recent adaptation of Vanity Fair plays fast and loose with Thackeray's novel. But the writer was surprisingly modern.
Shakespeare can survive a little chipping away at his 400-year reputation.
The socially and ethnically diverse working classes are not being heard. A recent project aims to change that.
Sharp-eyed Victorian writers exploded the myth of tranquil village life.
The ability to speak more than one language informs many writers of fiction, but analysis of Booker Prize shortlists suggests this is not so important any more.
Whether you loved him or hated him, his canonical status is beyond question.
The great thinker left thousands of comments in the margins of his personal library. Now these are being digitised and catalogued.
Once dismissed as a mere 'love story', Daphne du Maurier's masterpiece has transfixed generations of readers.
New forms of fiction and non-fiction writing told the stories of the plight of everyday working women at the hands of abusers.
The tragic story of a lonely, bullied boy who befriends a kestrel was an instant hit in the 1960s.
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote letters to his children from Father Christmas every year for 23 years. And they're filled with elves, goblins and playful polar bears.
There's no shortage of problems facing humanity. Science's role in how to tackle them has long been debated – including memorably by two of the 20th century's greatest literary figures.
The Times columnist's self-serving critique of one of the greats of English literature says more about his ignorance than anything else.
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove may not be the stuff of Orwell's dystopian nightmare, but they clearly know how to talk in 'doublespeak'.
Autumn is the first novel to tackle the UK’s impending departure from the EU.