Why Animal Farm is the Best Dystopian Novel

I love Animal Farm! An interesting look at it here

Daniel Douglas' Blog

I recently watched an Intelligence Squared debate between two inimitable men of letters, Will Self and Adam Gopnik, on the motion entitled “Brave New World vs Nineteen Eighty Four.”

But the real purpose behind the debate, much more than a simple literary analysis of two great novels, became clear immediately with the moderator’s introduction. “Rarely can a debate [such as this] claim to be so urgently topical. And yet somehow with two novels, one written in 1931 and the other written between 1948 and 1949, you nevertheless have two works that speak to us in our own time with great urgency and topicality.”

Ah, yes. The great urgency and topicality, always, of dystopian fiction.

In one sense it’s a completely ridiculous statement to make. The world today is far from a dystopia; and, in fact, it’s becoming increasingly less like a dystopia. Consider just a few key metrics: Poverty, Literacy…

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Guest Author: Mary Anne Yarde

I have a special treat for you today! Mary Anne Yarde, author of the Du Lac Chronicles series, has a greed to do a post for me on Lord Tennyson and his influence on Arthurian Legend. I know you will enjoy it. Lord Tennyson and his influence on Arthurian Legend. In 1846 William John Thoms, a British... Continue Reading →

Weather or not? An author’s love of weather.

I mention the weather ALL the time. I don’t think we realise how much influence it has over what we do

M.A. Lossl

MyAnglo/German ancestors led ordinary lives in extraordinary times.

When writing about their history, I embellish the hard facts from the archive. I imagine how they lived. Family stories, cards, letters and memoirs, inform my imagination. This, mixed with a very large dose of social history, makes up my writing resource.

Why have I written about my family, in historical fiction format? I hear you ask.

Well, to be honest, my research left family members, unimpressed. My accumulated pile of documents and certificates left them cold.  They just could not see the exciting story he records revealed to me.

So I decided that the facts presented in a story might grab their attention. To my delight, my family now love the story of their ancestors. And to my surprise and joy, so have hundreds of readers from around the world.

Many readers have asked me, why I mention the weather…

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Let’s Talk : 10 Important Takeaways From My Experience As A Debut Author

Amaan Khan

How are you doing today, you guys? Let that be the first thing you tell me in the comments below!

So this is what I have in store for you today: what I learned from my experience as a first-time author. My debut book was called Philippa. It was a period drama and heavily family-centric, geared toward an all-inclusive audience, published in 2013. It’s been five years since, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Additional details, summary, blurb, and the cover of my book can be found on my website’s book page here. It’s a quick read; you can head on there and come back to continue with this post in less than 30 seconds. I won’t use up all this space to just repeat all that minutiae again here. Instead, I’m going to utilize it to tell you the things you came here for…

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Victorian Superstitions

A very comprehensive list

100 Classics Challenge


I had stated it before but the Victorian era was really all about death.  They dealt with it, they lived with it, and they mourned it.  They were professional mourners and purveyors of all things to do with the dying experience.  With this means that most of their superstitions revolved around death and they were a superstitious lot.  My father is rather superstitious and my mother as well.  You know, no opening an umbrella in the house, don’t walk under a ladder, and don’t you dare break a mirror.  Yes, I come from a superstitious family and yet I don’t believe in a single one of them.  Here are some from the Victorian era, do you still practice some of these?

–          If the deceased has lived a good life, flowers would bloom on his grave; but if he has been evil, only weeds would grow.
–          If several deaths occur in…

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