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.
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?
The author of ‘The Raven’ immortalized his small New York cottage in a lesser-known short story
Rare letter discovered by chance in archive reveals fraught family matters strikingly akin to one of her plots
Take a peek at the world’s most exquisite libraries
“Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things,” said a certain sharp-fanged count to his English visitor, freshly arrived by train to Transylvania.
The writer’s first novel brought him fame and a reputation for the macabre. As a new production of the book is about to be staged in London, he talks about whether he has lost his bite