Insult of the Week: Not one agreeable quality

After her beloved sister Jane’s romantic disappointment, Lizzy has had enough of pleasant, wealthy bachelors: I have a very poor opinion of young men who live in Derbyshire; and their intimate friends who live in Hertfordshire are not much better. I am sick of them all. Thank Heaven! I am going to-morrow where I shall…

A disappointing lack of Easter eggs

In our novels, relatively little happens at Easter, although it’s mentioned incidentally quite a bit, generally as a marker of the passage of time – things are due to happen before or after Easter but rarely take place on the holiday itself. One of the few mentions of anything actually taking place during Easter is…

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…