Exactly a hundred years ago this October, Dorothy L Sayers published Whose Body? It launched her career as an illustrious author of eleven novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey that changed the detective genre forever. Sayers was, quite simply, unique. There...

Long before publishing dreamt up the category of Young Adult fiction to try and persuade adult children and childish adults to keep reading, there used to be novels that described what it felt like to be young. Catcher In the...

Most readers, myself included, are sick of “fan fiction”, depending as it does on hijacking classic literature for its own feebler energies, but Vesna Goldsworthy’s is a shining exception. Having successfully recast The Great Gatsby as a Russian oligarch in...

Nine million adults in Britain are functionally illiterate, estimated to the British economy £37 billion. The suffering of the people who are more likely to struggle finding employment is one reason to deplore the closure of libraries. The other is...

This is an edited version of the lecture given on 27 October 2022 at the AGM of the Trollope Society in the Reform Club. One hundred and forty years ago this December, the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope died laughing over...