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Gothic Novels

Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde

It’s one of the most famous concepts in fiction: the idea of the dual personality. Robert Louis Stevenson cannot take the credit for inventing it – Edgar Allan Poe and Dostoyevsky had both written tales about ‘the double’ in the 1840s, some forty years before Stevenson put pen to paper […]

Plays Poetry Short stories

The Shortest…

The shortest play in the world is probably by Samuel Beckett. ‘Breath’ is a 1969 work that was specially written for the theatrical revue Oh! Calcutta! The revue was organised by theatre critic Kenneth Tynan and brought together a host of famous people, including John Lennon and Sam Shepard. The […]

Novels Poetry

Literature and Sex

In one sense, ‘sex’ didn’t exist until 1899, when H. G. Wells first used it in his novel Love and Mr Lewisham as an abbreviation for ‘sexual intercourse’ (and Wells would know: his string of lovers was long and illustrious, including the feminist writer Rebecca West and the modernist pioneer Dorothy […]