What is the greatest Victorian novel that Charles Dickens did not write? This is the question that was debated by a delegation of Dickens aficionados at The Rugby Tavern, London, on 13th July 2019: this article is adapted (very slightly) from my winning proposal of Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre'
Britons thwarted by Saxon Kings; Normans appeased in 1067; a 7th century Archbishop; a woman dead of a heart attack in Broadstairs; men dressed as women; cloth cloaks and money bags: how are all these significant to an English folk tradition peculiar to the eastern parts of the county of Kent?
extreme UK weather, Victorian explorers and literature, and what they can tell us about ourselves ... this article has also been published today on my research blog (see profile for details)
In December 1845, Dickens began his campaign to refute the claims of a man far better qualified than he to assess the fate of 129 men caught up in Victorian Britain's greatest sea-faring mystery. Why?
A consideration of the Carrara Charles Dickens wrote about in his book 'Pictures from Italy', and the Carrara I visited in July 2017; how much has it changed, and would Dickens approve?
Gilman's novella - which helped to reform medical practice and the medical profession's attitude to women - explored in conjunction with Jacques Derrida's concept of différance.
Why, and how, was professional policing established in England's newly-industrialised heartlands amid the social and political upheaval endemic to the era between the Napoleonic and Crimean wars?
PowerPoint presentations can be informative, engaging and entertaining ... but only if the user knows how to operate them. Here's my mini-guide to effective presentations using this medium.
These poems are two old favourites from the Creative Writing module of my BA in English & History (2001-2004)
What was the personal context for Percy Bysshe Shelley's "idealized history of my life and feelings" and how does knowledge of this context illuminate the poem's meaning?
Known colloquially as The Rump Parliament, the government that met during the four years from 1649 to 1653 was doomed to fail from its inception. Why? Because if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!
We can all feel trapped in a hole sometimes, and some holes are deeper and darker than others, but we press on; we climb upwards and reach out, hoping ... dreaming ... living ...
In her 1861 novel 'Silas Marner', George Eliot presents a world divided triadically by these powerful human characteristics. Here, I discuss their effect on and through relationships within the novel.
Aphra Behn, the first professional female author, was born in Canterbury, UK, in 1640 and died in London, UK, in 1689. Her work 'anticipated feminism' and has often been overlooked or misinterpreted in favour of her male contemporaries, but it still enthrals & delights those who dare to read it.
A brief overview, and introduction to, the importance of local oligarchies amidst the political and social unrest of 16th and 17th century England
Shakespeare uses the “otherness” of his characters to emphasise their humanity and challenge his audience’s preconceptions of what constitutes civilised behaviour and what constitutes savagery ...