Guest Blog: Why Read Dickens?

By Alexander Atkins, and posted last year on his excellent blog for the Dickens bicentenary. The image below was designed by him to mark the occasion

This  200th article on Bookshelf is dedicated to my teacher, mentor, and dear friend, Tom A., who taught me how to understand the human condition and the world through the lens of literature, and cultivated a lifelong love affair with books.

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Some Literary Facts in Honour of World Book Night

Today, 23 April, is World Book Night (sometimes known, confusingly, as World Book Day). It is also the birthday (according to convention; nobody knows for sure) of William Shakespeare, and also the date on which he died, in 1616. On different calendars, Miguel de Cervantes (author of Don Quixote) and William Wordsworth also died on … Read more

Guest Blog: Truth in Fiction – George Eliot’s Romola

By Dr Hugh Mercer Curtler, Cottonwood, Minnesota, USA I firmly believe that there is truth in fiction and, indeed, profound truth in the fiction of people like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Joseph Conrad, and George Eliot. Eliot is one of my favorite writers and she always provides a wealth of food for thought. There is depth and … Read more