Arifa Akbar: We’ve come a long way since the ‘madwoman in the attic’: week in books – Reviews – Books – The Independent

For a long time, the mentally ill were dumb and mute in literature. Inarticulacy surrounded those lumped together as Bedlamites: Jane Eyre’s classic “madwoman” in the attic, for instance, served as little more than a plot device, a thing to fear and loathe that got in the way of a Gothic romance.

via Arifa Akbar: We’ve come a long way since the ‘madwoman in the attic’: week in books – Reviews – Books – The Independent.

Who’s the most significant historical figure? | Books | The Guardian

People love lists, and are perhaps even more fascinated by rankings – lists organised according to some measure of value or merit. Who were the most important women in history? The best writers or most influential artists? Our least illustrious political leaders? Who’s bigger: Hitler or Napoleon? Picasso or Michelangelo? Charles Dickens or Jane Austen? John, Paul, George or Ringo?

via Who’s the most significant historical figure? | Books | The Guardian.