Walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen in Hampshire

Even though I wax lyrical on every single platform about how much I love Jane Austen, I’ve never visited her house at Chawton or her grave in Winchester Cathedral – until this week. We went on a lovely trip to Hampshire and had a beautiful day (helped by the British sunshine) exploring Jane Austen’s House…

REVIEW: “Only A Novel: The Double Life of Jane Austen”, by Jane Aiken Hodge

Today Agora Books are re-publishing Jane Aiken Hodge’s study of Jane Austen, and I was lucky enough to have been gifted an advance copy to review, so thank you Agora! As anyone who knows me might have guessed, I jumped at the chance to review a book about not only my favourite author but also…

Updating the Classics: Five Modern Retellings of Classic Stories to Read and Love

I swear one of my favourite genres of books could be called “modern retellings of classics”. I am always on the lookout for them, in particular Jane Austen retellings, which is why I am hoping that eventually the Austen Project, which paired Austen’s six novels with six contemporary bestselling authors, will eventually resurface with modern…

Eighteenth-Century Men mansplain Women’s History: William Alexander’s “The History of Women, from the Earliest Antiquity, to the Present Time”, 1796

A Man and a Woman seated by a Virginal, Gabriel Metsu, c.1665, oil on oak (National Gallery, London, NG839) My recent research has had me reading lots of histories of women written in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which has been a lot more amusing than it might sound. Of course, this is a really…

Favourite Period Dramas: Darcy, Green Gables and Morse

For me, autumn always seems to be period drama season, and also, that means Sunday nights spent in front of the TV watching the drama unfold against the backdrop of different historical periods, whilst I drink either tea or wine and the weather gets colder. I love how period dramas can give you a feel…

Why Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet will take your breath away…

I tried not to read too much about the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's new Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick before seeing it. Having booked the tickets over a year in advance, fuelled by a love of the play but also a love of the pairing of Lily James and Richard Madden in the titular…