The Best Aldous Huxley Books Everyone Should Read

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was an important twentieth-century writer whose work often explored some of the ‘biggest’ and most important ideas of his day. The following pick of his best books include a work documenting his experiences of drug-taking, classic dystopian fiction, radical utopian vision, and social satires of the ‘roaring twenties’.

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Book Review: The Book Lover’s Almanac

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle enjoys Alex Johnson’s new compendium of ‘on this day’ literary nuggets

I began this blog eleven years ago to this day, back on 1 December 2012. Since then, I have broadened my range from curious facts about literary genres and specific authors to more in-depth analysis of classic works of literature, as well as some less canonical books, poems, and other literary texts. I’ve even branched out and started analysing song lyrics, whenever a particular song strikes me as worthy of discussion, or whenever I learn something curious about a song or artist.

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A Summary and Analysis of O. Henry’s ‘After Twenty Years’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘After Twenty Years’ is a short story by the American writer O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter (1862-1910). A trademark of the O. Henry story is the surprise twist ending, and ‘After Twenty Years’ is a classic example of this. The story is about two friends who agree to meet up after twenty years to compare each other’s lives.

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Boxer in Animal Farm: Character Profile

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Boxer is an enormous cart-horse who possesses the strength of two average horses. The character is one of the most important in George Orwell’s 1945 allegory for Soviet Communism, Animal Farm. Indeed, after the two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, Boxer is arguably the most significant character in Orwell’s fable about Stalinist Russia in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution.

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