Pride and Prejudice and People

Are you one of Jane Austen’s legion of obsessive fans?  Have you read Pride and Prejudice once, or occasionally, or until the covers are falling off?  Do you know your Sir Lewis de Bourghs from your apothecary shopboys?  If so, we need your help! We’ve put together a survey which contains the full list of…

Ladies and Gentlemen: visualising character mentions by gender in the novels

In early 2015, Adam Calhoun created a (now quite famous) series of images that visualise the punctuation from famous novels.  These rather lovely images demonstrate clearly how differently writing can be structured, particularly in regard to features like punctuation: hiding in plain sight, punctuation renders writing intelligible, but goes practically unnoticed by the reader.  (Until…

One Million Images: the British Library Labs Collection

*WARNING: CONTENT IS VERY DISTRACTING AND MAY INTERRUPT YOUR WORKDAY* Unless otherwise specified, the images we’ve been using on The Sea of Books all come from the British Library Labs scanned images collection.  This is a project which is very dear to our hearts, as it consists of a massive, confusing and wonderful dataset, full…

What’s in a name? Waverley and The Sea of Books

The protagonist of Sir Walter Scott’s 1814 historical novel, Waverley, comes from a wealthy family and has the good fortune to be brought up with access to an enormous collection of books: The library at Waverley-Honour, a large Gothic room, with double arches and a gallery, contained such a miscellaneous and extensive collection of volumes…