John Donne’s Listicle For the Well-Prepped Courtier
“The Courtier’s Library” is a list of books every courtier should know about, a cheat sheet for name-dropping in society. The trouble? Its books are imaginary.
Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period?
The British Regency era lasted less than a decade, but it spawned a staggering number of unlikely fictional marriages.
In the Decameron of Boccaccio, friends tell one another stories of love to while away the hours of quarantine.
Why Cupid Rules Valentine’s Day
The rascally cherub has been part of Valentine's Day lore since Chaucer’s time.
Is Emma Really the Heroine of Emma?
Jane Austen gave her character Emma Woodhouse plenty of off-putting qualities. So does she even deserve her popularity?
Pirating Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in the 1840s
When Parley's Illuminated Library published a pirated version of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens decided he had had enough.
Franz Kafka’s The Trial—It’s Funny Because It’s True
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.