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Category: Author

Elizabeth Gaskell and ‘Wives and Daughters’

Denise Hanrahan Wells looks at Elizabeth Gaskell’s final novel  Elizabeth Gaskell died in 1865 leaving behind a wide range of works – novels, novellas, short stories, poetry and non-fiction.  Her final novel, Wives and Daughters lay unfinished, just shy of the final chapter or so.  There is some common ground here between Elizabeth Gaskell and… Read More

The Japanese Macbeth

Dr Stephen Carver looks at one of the most memorable adaptations of Macbeth, Akira Kurosawa’s 1957 film Kumonosu-jō, best known as Throne of Blood. The Japanese Macbeth Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s shortest tragedies, over a thousand lines fewer than both King Lear and Othello, and about half the size of Hamlet. Some literary historians go as far as to argue, in fact, that we… Read More

Book of the Week: The Brothers Karamazov

After an insomniac encounter with a radio adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov, Sally Minogue revisits Fyodor Dostoevsky’s last novel. I’ve always had trouble sleeping; it’s part of my life. I used to listen to the World Service which gave a non-Anglocentric corrective to the standard news, but eventually the reporting of everyday horrors there became… Read More

Book of the Week: Pride and Prejudice

When I first read Pride and Prejudice as a moody fourteen-year-old, I was far from impressed. I had little interest in the characters, even less enthusiasm for the society in which they lived, and as for the preoccupation with marriage, well that just left me cold.  Some of you dear readers may gasp in horror… Read More

When Poe Met Dickens

In the United States, one of the first – if not the first – critics to discover the talented new British author Charles Dickens was Edgar Allan Poe. Poe reviewed Dickens’ first book, Sketches by ‘Boz’  in the June 1836 number of the Southern Literary Messenger, the year it was published in London by John… Read More

King Henry V

We Happy Few’: Agincourt, History, and National Myth: King Henry V Few stories ignite the British sense of national pride and identity quite as much as those when a small but valiant force hold their ground against a much bigger enemy. This is what the Battle of Britain was all about, the Battle of Rorke’s… Read More

Book of the Week: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter: Mia Rocquemore looks at Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel set in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-1700s A novel that combines spectacle with secret, the supernatural with bitter reality, and editorial authority with subjective narration, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter demands a psychological reading. Its characters are so complex, their motivations and… Read More

A Blog for Burns Night

Mia Rocquemore has a timely look the poetry of Robert Burns. in a A Blog for Burns Night Guests at a traditional Burns Night supper are greeted by the blare of the bagpipe, its fierce notes unmistakable and unignorable. It would be hard to conceive of a more suitable opening for a celebration of Scotland’s… Read More