Literary find: the opened ring, containing what is suspected to be a braid of Charlotte Brontë’s hair. Photograph: BBC

A lock of braided hair in a ring discovered in a Welsh attic is “very likely” to have been the hair of Charlotte Brontë, according to the Brontë Socie(...)

Wilton Castle, in Co Wexford. Photograph: James Fenlon

It may not be very often that a vote of thanks is offered to the Irish Revenue Commissioners. Yet without them who would find the way to lock 26 on th(...)

Never fully dressed without a scoop: swaggering tabloid editor Duncan Allen (Ben Chaplin) confronts his troops in the BBC drama ‘Press’.

January: As the year begins, the big question is whether 2018 will strive for credibility and enlightenment in an increasingly surreal world, or capit(...)

English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. File photograph:  Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“Nature,” wrote the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell in a letter to a friend in 1854, “intended me for a gypsy-bachelor; that I am sure of. Not an old maid,(...)

Charlotte Brontë. “The spelling of Brunty, by the way, was and remains interchangeable with “Prunty”, their common ancestor being Ó Pronntaigh.” Getty Images

Certain events in Dublin aside, Easter 1916 was also an extraordinarily busy time for major literary anniversaries. There was of course the tercentena(...)

Tracey Thorn’s first book Bedsit Disco Queen was an understated chronicle of life as a musician. It wasn’t overtly confessional, but what made it so c(...)

JK Rowling

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (1963) Published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in 1963, Sylvia Plath’s only novel tells the story of Esther Gre(...)

“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.” Ulysses, James Joyce. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
Eat your words
  • Books
  • May 15, 2014, 15:22

“I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.” Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez “And once I had recognis(...)

One of the most memorable unhinged characters in contemporary Irish fiction is Francis Brady, the troubled child narrator of Pat McCabe’s The Butcher Boy
Mad men and women in fiction
  • Books
  • May 2, 2014, 01:27

Reviewed by Eileen Battersby in The Irish Times this Saturday, Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto (Viking, £14.99) is a near-perfect account of a p(...)