All items: Jane Austen

I feared these books would be dull, staid and part of the establishment that I was so busy rebelling against; and then I read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Claire Harman speaks with Caroline Sanderson about the painstaking, and sometimes obsessive art of literary biography, and how careful detective work can bring new insights into even the most written-about lives.

As the child of bookshop owners, Simon Rae grew up knowing that running a bookshop might be his destiny. But the revelation that he would rather write books than sell them took him along a different path…
One friend recently asked me to name the best five books I've ever read; I told him mine, he told me his, and we've been working our way slowly through each other's lists. That's a plan of a kind and it's been a revelation.
Their care and attention, setting words on paper, makes you feel that thrill of recognition; you know with certainty that what they write is true, and you want to do what they do.

Maura Dooley, former RLF trustee, speaks with Jane Draycott about her complex connections with her Irish heritage, reaching to the realm of the 'beyond' when translating the work of Iranian poet Azita Ghahreman, and the unanticipated rewards of her residency at Jane Austen's Hampshire cottage.

Although writers are often asked about their favourite tools – from pens to laptops – the chairs on which they sit to write are seldom mentioned. Alex Games wonders why so little attention has been paid to this crucial piece of furniture.
Material possessions fail to quell his self-loathing or heal, or avert, the divisions and disasters abundant in his world; reading the book as a student in Thatcher's London it subtly but perfectly reflected the culture around me.