The Good People by Hannah Kent

Like many readers I loved Hannah Kent's first novel Burial Rites (2013), so I had high expectations for The Good People. Like its predecessor it is set in the first half of the 19th century, this time in 1820s Ireland. Also like Burial Rites, it features unhappy women as its central characters. The blurb dedicates… Continue reading The Good People by Hannah Kent

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The best books of 2015

My apologies for the mixture of photos in this post - I have lent out some of the books featured so wasn't able to take a nice photo of them and had to find images of the covers online. Not ideal, but there you go...   Somehow 2015 is over, and I have naturally been… Continue reading The best books of 2015

Truth and Identity in ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’

How do we know what is true, and what is not? How do we know that people really are who they say they are? Are you ever only one person? These were questions I asked myself while reading Lady Audley's Secret recently. The novel starts off simply enough with a few chapters to set things… Continue reading Truth and Identity in ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’

‘Alias Grace’ and the Concept of the Fallen Woman

Any reader of Victorian literature, or any student of the history of the period, will be aware of the concept of the fallen woman. If not, the Wikipedia page is a good place to start. It's a depressingly detailed page. For an era in which society began to move away from the government of Christianity… Continue reading ‘Alias Grace’ and the Concept of the Fallen Woman

Re-reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Last year I wrote about wanting to re-read some books that I either loved, or had sort of forgotten but was sure I liked. Jane Eyre wasn't on that list, but for some reason I recently felt compelled to re-read it. It might be because I wanted to finally get around to reading my copy… Continue reading Re-reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Elusive Ada Lovelace

I read a biography of Byron when I was about 17 or 18, having been introduced to him by a teacher. I fell in love with his life story, the drama and romance, the scandal, and of course the poetry. I automatically took his side in the break with his wife Annabella (which happened as… Continue reading The Elusive Ada Lovelace

On Happiness in Madame Bovary

Happiness is something that we all search for, something we need to stay sane and want to live. Sometimes it comes to us by chance, and sometimes we actively pursue it, striving for it. Equally it can completely disintegrate or indeed never seem to completely find us, and we roam the Earth looking for some… Continue reading On Happiness in Madame Bovary