Jane Austen

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Seamus Heaney’s inclusion as an Unseen Poet on Paper 2 this year has been  described by many students as “just cruel”.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Examiners sent Seamus Heaney astray again this Leaving Cert, as the poet turned up on the Unseen Poetry section and not in Prescribed Poetry - as many(...)

Viv Albertine: “Yoko Ono opened up my mind, better than drugs. Short sentences. Sort of surreal but also practical and direct. Concepts made playful and palatable. She showed me you can do anything and go anywhere in your head.”

Songwriter and musician Viv Albertine was the guitarist in the hugely influential female punk band The Slits. A confidante of the Sex Pistols and t(...)

John Hurt holds a book in a scene from the film, 1984. Photograph: Atlantic Releasing Corporation/Getty Images

‘The book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said (...)

The End of the Affair: With plenty of reflection on the novel-writing process and insights into the obsessive mind of the writer, Maurice Bendrix (played in Neil Jordan’s film adapatation by Ralph Fiennes) is an intriguing antihero, loosely based on Graham Greene himself

The End of the Affair, Graham Greene (1951) Set in London, Greene’s novel follows writer Maurice Bendrix in the closing months of the second Wo(...)

The Reader: concerned with second-generation guilt, Bernhard Schlink’s novel uses literature and literacy as a way of revisiting the “incomparable” crimes of Nazi Germany

Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen (1818) Austen’s first novel, published posthumously, may not have as much finesse as her later more famous works (...)

True Detective. Woody Harrelson and Mathew McConaughey. Photograph:  Home Box Office, Inc

True Detective (Sky Atlantic, Saturday) is the story of two policemen with the same head (granite face, sensible side-parting) who in flash-forward(...)

Mikal O’Boyle outtside her fairytale thatched cottage with her husband Aidan, baby Isabella Maeve and her first book, Snake the Gypsy

The key to my success is this: I am a child in an adult’s body. When I was young, I used to camp out in my room in the smallest of towns in nor(...)

Gua the chimp and Donald Kellogg, who were raised alongside each other in the 1930s

In 2000, Karen Joy Fowler was walking around a college campus with her adult daughter, and pointed out that her father, a psychologist, used to(...)

For much of a career spanning more than 60 years, the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard, who has died aged 90, suffered a certain condescension from litera(...)

Jeremy Irvine (centre) in The Railway Man. “I was 17 and being rebellious. I wanted to piss off my parents. So I tried to join the army. I tried lying about my diabetes first”
War baby

For most actors, news of their big break remains a misty memory. But Jeremy Irvine, irritatingly handsome English dreamboat, has the whole thing on ta(...)

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