Holmes and Watson discuss ‘Holmes and Watson’.

‘To the man who loves art for its own sake,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes, tossing aside the advertisement sheet of the Daily Telegraph, ‘it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived.’ ‘My dear friend, how can you say such a thing?’ I exclaimed with some surprise,…

Victor Frankenstein reviews ‘Mary Shelley’.

It was on a dreary night of November that I woke to Beelzebub poking me in the eyeball with his tail.

‘The House with the Stained Glass Window’ by Żanna Słoniowska (tr. Antonia Lloyd Jones): Book review.

History, pain and identity pile up like strata across four generations of Russian-speaking, ethnic Polish women in Żanna Słoniowska’s stunning novel of Soviet Ukraine, The House with the Stained Glass Window. The young, unnamed female narrator of The House with the Stained Glass Window (Polish title : Dom z witrażem) lives with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother in the Ukrainian city…

‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders (review).

This is a difficult novel, full of pain and agony. If you have lost a loved one, you probably shouldn’t read it, and yet probably should. In President Lincoln, you will see yourself, and Willie will become for you the spitting image of the loved one you lost.

‘The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock’ by Imogen Hermes Gowar (review).

In recent years, authors of historical fiction have become more and more innovative, from Suzanna Clark’s re-writing of English history (with magic) in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell to Hilary Mantel’s vision of Tudor England in minimalistic, modern English in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Imogen Hermes Gowar continues this tradition by coaxing us down into…

‘The Weight of Ink’ is not ‘Possession”s Doppelgänger.

Rachel Kadish’s The Weight of Ink, a novel of supreme beauty and intelligence, is accused of subjecting A.S. Byatt’s Possession to carbon copying, 3D printing and creepy stalking in the manner of Frankenstein’s monster. Her Ladyship sips some tea and raises her pinkie to the critics. Warning: Spoilers for The Weight of Ink and Possession….

‘The Mysteries of Udolpho’ Made Awesome in Six Easy Steps

It isn’t difficult to imagine why Jane Austen would want to satirise a novel like The Mysteries of Udolpho, which is, despite its fine romantic imagery, the huge role it played in defining the Gothic novel and Mrs Radcliffe’s general awesomeness as a successful female novelist in nineteenth century England, a rather silly book. Its…

My Father

My father died from a heart attack caused by Parkinson’s Disease. This is our story. When I was a little girl, I couldn’t say the word ‘Dad.’ What came out of my mouth was a cacophony of strange sounds that sounded something like ‘Dla.’ So right up until the day he died, Dla was what…

What Sansa would have done in Arya’s place.

My dear friend the Lady Héloïse and her inestimable sister the Lady Catherine recently planted a delightful seed in my head following my defense of Sansa Stark entitled What Arya would have done in Sansa’s place. Why not do it the other way round? I jokingly responded that the post would only have to be…