Reading Jane Austen

On Dr Bill Hutchings’s suggestions for approaching Austen, in a talk at The Portico Library.

Dalloway Day

A summary of the Royal Society of Literature’s inaugural celebration of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’.

Celebrating Literature

Surrounded on all four sides by shelves and shelves of Victorian books, students from Years 7 – 13, their supporters, and a handful of acclaimed writers gathered under the Portico Library’s magnificent ceiling dome for a celebration of reading, writing and all-things-literary. I was invited to attend after having been awarded a Special Commendation for…

Take a Walk on the Writer’s Side

If you walk straight down Oxford Road with Central Library at your back, you’ll pass the Palace Theatre on your way out of town. If you keep walking you’ll pass the Aquatics Centre, the RNCM and, if your legs aren’t tired yet, you’ll come to the Manchester Museum. If you walk a street across to…

Auf diese Stadt

‘Und wir ahnten, die Völker der Welt schauten auf diese Stadt.’ So sings Reinhard Mey in his beautifully poetic Mein Berlin, released in 1990. It refers to the Berlin air lift, when Allied countries flew planes over their sectors of Berlin (which was divided into four occupied zones following WW2), dropping much-needed supplies to citizens…

Full as Much Heart

‘Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?’ So questions fiery and beloved heroine Jane Eyre, the title character of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel. I was struck by her outburst recently, when visiting the little village of Haworth which was home to the four surviving Brontë children…