English Literature

Stuart Hall in 1996

Stuart Hall, inventor of cultural studies, has much to answer for

10 June 2017 9:00 am

What’s this? An autobiography by Stuart Hall? Wasn’t he one of the guys who put the Eng. Lit. departments out…

Japan thinks English is the future – whatever Jean-Claude Juncker says

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Whatever Mr Juncker says, Japan thinks English is the future

The interior of the Swan Theatre, Southwark, in 1596, based on a sketch by a Dutch traveller, Johannes de Witt, and probably the best indicator of what the Globe Theatre would have looked like.

William Shakespeare: all things to all men

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The best new books celebrating Shakespeare’s centenary are full of enthusiasm and insight — but none plucks out the heart of his mystery, says Daniel Swift

The life of Thomas De Quincey: a Gothic horror story

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Frances Wilson’s biography of Thomas De Quincey, the mischievous, elusive ‘Pope of Opium’, makes for addictive reading, says Hermione Eyre

William Hogarth’s ‘Night’, in his series ‘Four Times of the Day’ (1736), provides a glimpse of the anarchy and squalor of London’s nocturnal streets

Dickens’s dark side: walking at night helped ease his conscience at killing off characters

21 March 2015 9:00 am

James McConnachie discovers that some of the greatest English writers — Chaucer, Blake, Dickens, Wordsworth, Dr Johnson — drew inspiration and even comfort from walking around London late at night

All you’ll ever need to know about the history of England in one volume

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Here is a stupendous achievement: a narrative history of England which is both thorough and arresting. Very few writers could…

Michael Gove did not kill Of Mice and Men or To Kill A Mockingbird

31 May 2014 9:00 am

I suppose I should be grateful that the liberal intelligentsia doesn’t bother to check any of the facts if an…

Memoirs of an academic brawler  

22 March 2014 9:00 am

It’s a misleading title, because there is nothing unexpected about Professor Carey, in any sense. He doesn’t turn up to…

Middlemarch: the novel that reads you

15 March 2014 9:00 am

The genesis of The Road to Middlemarch was a fine article in the New Yorker about  Rebecca Mead’s unsuccessful search…

Anorexia, addiction, child-swapping — the Lake Poets would have alarmed social services

5 October 2013 9:00 am

The last time the general reader was inveigled into the domestic intensities of the Wordsworth circle was by Frances Wilson…

The Professor of Poetry, by Grace McCleen - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

Elizabeth Stone, English professor at UCL,  has long lived on ‘paper and words and thin air’. Single, friendless, dessicated, respected,…

Memoirs of a Leavisite, by David Elllis - review

15 June 2013 9:00 am

As the author of this wise, patient and delightful book wryly reminds us, Stephen Fry — who, of course, knows…