In George Eliot’s masterpiece of 19th century realism, characters are confronted with the limits of their individual capacities and visions.
Martin Amis’s writing style was instantly recognisable: caustic and savagely funny with a sense of pathos. His death at 73 marks the end of an era.
There is an interesting new story emerging about the lengths of speeches in early modern plays. In the space of five years there was a dramatic shift in style – and it wasn’t just Shakespeare.
In Thomas Hardy’s novel The Woodlanders, the trees sing. Hardy’s exploration of the relationship between humans and trees resonates in an epoch of environmental catastrophe.
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.