Jane Austen

Superb but depraved: BBC1’s The Serpent reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

The Serpent is the best BBC drama series in ages — god knows how it slipped through the net —…

Sumptuous and very promising: A Suitable Boy reviewed

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Nobody could argue that Andrew Davies isn’t up for a challenge. He’d also surely be a shoo-in for Monty Python’s…

Some of the best Austen adaptations are the most unfaithful

15 February 2020 9:00 am

You won’t find much Jane Austen in the myriad adaptations of her novels, says Claire Harman

You’ll laugh, cry, cringe and covet the hats and bedspreads: Emma reviewed

15 February 2020 9:00 am

‘Too pretty,’ blithers Miss Bates in the Highbury haberdasher as she plucks at a silken tassel. ‘Too pretty’ goes for…

Desperate to preserve her sister Jane’s reputation, Cassandra Austen lost her own

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Poor Cassy. The Miss Austen of this novel’s title is Cassandra, Jane’s elder sister. She was to have married Thomas…

Why Deborah Ross wants to punch G.K. Chesterton in the head

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Love & Friendship is based on the little-known Jane Austen epistolary novella, Lady Susan, which was not published until after…

Lizzie Bennet is catapulted to America

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel Eligible is a page-turning romantic comedy which is very funny and entirely ridiculous: each of the short…

With rain threatening, Jane Bennet departs for Netherfield — with her mother’s approval. Illustration by Hugh Thomson for Pride and Prejudice (1894)

Rain, shine and the human imagination — from Adam and Eve to David Hockney

12 September 2015 9:00 am

‘Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr Worthing,’ pleads Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. ‘Whenever people…

Taki, the greatest literary critic of our time, picks Fitzgerald’s greatest novel

30 May 2015 9:00 am

An operation on my hand after a karate injury has had me reading more than usual. I even attempted Don…

Castle Cottage in Near Sawrey, Cumbria, where Beatrix Potter lived after her marriage to William Heelis

Behind (almost) every great writer is a great garden

8 November 2014 9:00 am

It is a truism that writers of all kinds often find inspiration and solace in their gardens, as well as…

Look! Shakespeare! Wow! George Eliot! Criminy! Jane Austen!

16 November 2013 9:00 am

Among the precursors to this breezy little book are, in form, the likes of The Story of Art, Our Island…