Alan Bennett describes the experience perfectly: you’re halfway through a book by a long-dead stranger, and there it is: an idea or feeling ‘you had thought special and particular to you… set down by someone else … as if a hand has come out and taken yours’.
A look at the time Charlotte Brontë spent in Brussels revelas a study in creative obsession.
Personal essays are alive and well in the twenty-first century. There seems no end to the appeal of the essayist’s basic idea: that you can write spontaneously and ramblingly about yourself and your interests, and that the world will love you for it.
Measure for Measure has been staged three times in London this year. It goes to show just how resonant its themes of sexual licentiousness and twisted democracy are today – especially in Russia
Map goes on sale in Oxford for £60,000 after being found at Blackwell’s Rare Books inside novel belonging to illustrator Pauline Baynes
Orwell himself provides an escape clause for his list of rules for writing clear English: "Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous."
The novel inside us. It’s a powerful presence that commonly remains dormant but ruminated over, then abandoned with a little wistful regret. In other cases, it is nothing less than a raging obsession.
At a recent tag sale not far from my parents’ house, I came upon a thin, weathered paperback with a yellowing spine. It stuck out amid the other glossy hardcovers.
As her 1962 novel The Pumpkin Eater becomes a Penguin Classic, we re-examine the life of Penelope Mortimer, who tackled difficult subjects in a style that still sounds vital today
George Gissing, a northerner, came to London as a social outcast. He was a stranger in an immense city which he explored ceaselessly, which absorbed his intellectual energy and fed his creativity, and about which he had little good to say.
'In Antarctica, everything is stripped down... It is only who you are and what you do that counts.'
At the inaugural Garner Lecture, the writer and storyteller reflected on a lifetime in tales – and vowed to keep taking risks.
Whether it's musicians pastiching multiple vintage styles in a single track, the endless cycle of remakes and sequels in cinema, or historical genre mashups in pop literature, our future is looking increasingly like our past.