‘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.

‘To the Bright Edge of the World’ by Eowyn Ivey (review).

A striking novel of love, discovery and the culture of cold, To the Bright Edge of the World brings nineteenth-century Alaska to searing, glorious life.

‘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…

What Arya would have done in Sansa’s place: being the ramblings of a young lady who adores both Stark girls and is rather sick of the above notion being used to favour one at the expense of the other.

Let us imagine for a moment that Arya hadn’t been so fortunate as to be picked up by Yoren at Ned Stark’s execution (well, how fortunate this event actually was is debatable). What if she’d been taken by the Hound instead, or denounced by someone in the crowd, or even recognised by Joffrey, who is…

The Belgariad and the Malloreon: The Dream Cast

Last month her Ladyship attempted to cast The Moonstone; this month she’ll be following a tribute to David and Leigh Eddings with some imagine-casting of The Belgariad and The Malloreon. Though it was the wish of David and Leigh that their work never be adapted, many fans find it hard to resist fooling around like…

A Tribute to David and Leigh Eddings

  ‘On a quiet hillside some distance from the struggle taking place on the north bank, the simpleminded serf boy from the Arendish forest was playing his flute. His melody was mournful, but even in its sadness, it soared to the sky. The boy did not understand the fighting and he had wandered away unnoticed….