How One Author’s Bankruptcy Changed the History of the English Novel Forever

In the teens of the 19th century, Walter Scott was enjoying a wave of financial success as a novel-writer that was perhaps unprecedented in the history of literature.  His series of historical novels, published under the pseudonym “The Author of Waverley”, were selling in huge numbers, and his fans were legion, including – among others…

When is Elizabeth Bennet’s Birthday?

In Breihan and Caplan’s excellent 1990 article Jane Austen and the Militia, which throws a considerable amount of light on the historical underpinnings of Pride and Prejudice, the authors argue persuasively that the book is set in the years 1794 and 1795, by picking up on the many small military-historical hints that Jane Austen dropped…

Happy birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

Birthday congratulations are in order to the creator of Sherlock Holmes, on his 157th birthday! In honour of the occasion, why not follow Watson’s example and while away some free time (while waiting to be called into action) with a good mystery? (Take your boots off before you sit on the couch, though…)

Literary birthdays in April

April was a busy month for 19th-century birthdays! Many happy returns are due to Katherine Cecil Thurston, author of Max, who celebrated her 141st birthday on April 18th! Congratulations also to the wonderful Charlotte Brontë, author of Jane Eyre, on April 21st – the 200th anniversary of her birth! Finally, we wish a very merry 201st…