Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry
Set during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1920, Babel’s novel captured the indiscriminate violence and injustice of warfare.
The Devonshire Manuscript
The sixteenth-century handwritten collection of poetry and commentary offers a glimpse of intellectual life at the court of King Henry VIII.
T. S. Eliot and the Holy Grail
The Nobel Laureate drew on a centuries-old legend when he put the Fisher King in The Waste Land.
Emily Brontë’s Lost Second Novel
The author of the English literary classic Wuthering Heights died tragically young, leaving her second novel unfinished.
W. B. Yeats’ Live-in “Spirit Medium”
In the Victorian era, a different kind of ghostwriting became popular—largely because it allowed men to take all the credit.
The French King Who Believed He Was Made of Glass
King Charles VI of France was the most exalted representative of a rash of "Glass Men," who appeared throughout Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries.
The Other Alexander the Great
Stories emerged in the centuries after Alexander the Great’s death. They revolved around Alexander's failures, not his victories. The portrait that emerges is strangely poignant.
Geek Love: Our Modern Monster Story
The writer Katherine Dunn died last week at age 70. Anyone who ever felt like an outsider found a friend in her 1989 novel Geek Love.
Yas Queen! It’s the Spelling Reform School for Wayward Words
Debates over English spelling reform have existed for centuries.
Off With Their Heads! Alice In Wonderland Turns 150
How Alice in Wonderland changed how we look at time and space.