Five Fascinating Facts about the Brontë Sisters

This post is designed to celebrate the Brontë sisters and their work in another instalment of our Five Fascinating Facts series. If you enjoy this post, you might also want to see how you fare with our 10 Classic Victorian Novels Everyone Should Read. 1. The sisters’ first volume of poems sold just two copies. Poems by … Read more

Five Fascinating Facts about Henry James

By Viola van de Sandt 1. He had no regrets. In a letter to fellow novelist Hugh Walpole, James wrote in 1913: ‘We must know, as much as possible, in our beautiful art . . . what we are talking about – &  the only way to know it is to have lived & loved … Read more

The Longest Words in Literature

What’s the longest ever word in literature? The longest word in the English language (leaving literature to one side for a moment) is a staggering 189,819 letters long. Or rather, it is and it isn’t. The chemical formula for the protein otherwise known as titin runs to 189,819 letters, but whether this constitutes a ‘word’ … Read more

The Literary Origins of Valentine’s Day

Did Geoffrey Chaucer invent Valentine’s Day? Yes and no. St Valentine’s Day has been marked in liturgical calendars for centuries. As a Christian feast day, Valentine’s Day actually commemorates two Saint Valentines: Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. (The Catholic Encyclopedia even speaks of a third Saint Valentine, who was martyred in Africa, but little else is … Read more