At the age of fifteen, Fanny Burney made a bonfire of all her works, ‘with the sincere intention to extinguish for ever in their ashes her scribbling propensity’. She was anxious that she might turn into an author, a fate incompatible - for a woman - with respectability. This portrait of the eighteenth-century author and satirist chronicles her literary career, her adventure-filled life, and her influence on the work of later writers.
Raised motherless on the remote Yorkshire moors, Charlotte Brontë's life has all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She pushed Emily to publish Wuthering Heights and in Jane Eyre she introduced the world to a brand new kind of heroine, modelled on herself: This is the definitive biography of one of Britain's best loved writers.
MURDER BY THE BOOK
One morning in May 1840, on a respectable Mayfair street, elderly Lord William Russell was discovered in bed with his throat cut. When his assassin claimed he had been inspired by a recent sensational novel, it sent shock waves through literary London, and drew both Dickens and Thackeray into the fray. The crime, the investigation, the city's fevered fixation and the Victorian age are all brilliantly scrutinized in this account of a surprisingly literary crime.