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Novels

Five Facts about Moby-Dick

1. Herman Melville’s novel, Moby-Dick (note the hyphen, which many people omit), was subtitled The Whale and appeared in 1851. It signalled a change in the author’s fortunes, but not of the good kind: although he had been critically and commercially successful prior to the publication of Moby-Dick, this – […]

Essays Novels

George Orwell at the Pub

The man who, among many other achievements, inspired two television programmes, Big Brother and Room 101, and painted a chilling dystopian portrayal of a totalitarian state in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, also unofficially provided the blueprint for many of the pubs in modern Britain. George Orwell was an influential essayist as […]

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 […]