Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.
Jessie Chaffee Florence in Ecstasy

Expecting the Unexpected: Researching Florence in Ecstasy

Debut novelist Jessie Chaffee on how she researched her critically-acclaimed new novel Florence in Ecstasy, with a little help from JSTOR.
Samuel Richardson

Why the First Novel Created Such a Stir

Samuel Richardson's Pamela, the first novel in English, astounded and terrified readers. Authors have striven for the same effect since.
Old open book

The Great American Game of Picking the Great American Novel

Arguing about the great American novel was perfect fodder for periodicals in the late 1800s, and it is catnip for a listicle-obsessed internet.
Victorian woman reading

A Novel Defense of the Internet

Novel reading was once regarded as an idle occupation, just as Internet use is now.

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.
Sigrid Undset

The Best Book You’ve Never Read

The best book you've never read may just be 'Kristin Lavransdatter,' which won its author Sigrid Undset the Nobel Prize in 1928.