Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) was a pioneer of what we’d now call the ambiguous horror story, where the supernatural elements of the tale may actually be explained (or explained away) with a psychological explanation. He was also an accomplished poet and a pioneer of science fiction. His 1848 prose-poem Eureka even predicts the Big Bang theory by some eighty years. Poe considered this book his masterpiece, though it is among his least-read prose works today.
By Viola van de Sandt Most people know that Flush is the title of Virginia Woolf’s biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel. Here are five things, however, you might not have known about this delightful book. 1. Woolf starting writing Flush after finishing her long novel The Years. In a letter to Lady Ottoline Morrell, … Read more
1. The idea for The Hunger Games came to author Suzanne Collins while channel-hopping between coverage of the invasion of Iraq and a reality TV show. The idea began to form in her mind of a narrative which concerned a televised fight to the death. The theme of the series has led critics to draw comparisons with … Read more
Tolkien was born on this day in 1892. In honour of the anniversary of his birth, we’re launching a new series, ‘Five Fascinating Facts’, which will be a regular feature on this blog over the coming months. Fans of our blog may have followed our recent series, ‘Five Reasons’, featuring articles on lesser-known writers such as George Meredith, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Ernest Dowson, and George du Maurier.