Jane Austen

25 Fabulously Cranky Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain was born on this day in 1835. He lived until his 70s, which he considered “the time of life when you arrive at a new and awful dignity.” The writer regarded old age with the same acerbic wit that made him the greatest humorist of his time. Tragedy always seemed to be knocking at Twain’s door. He lived through the death of three children and his wife, and financial troubles weighed heavy on him — but for Twain, “humor [was] the great thing, the saving thing after all.” We’ve gathered 25 of Twain’s crankiest quotes that celebrate the father of American literature’s sharp tongue. … Read More

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10 Great Books Contemporary Culture Has Forgotten

The classics are classics for a reason, and while some novels hold timeless appeal, others have faded into obscurity. Earlier this week, TMN pointed us to a list highlighted in the The Times Literary Supplement, written by editor Clement K. Shorter for the Illustrated London News in 1898, which named 100 of the best novels ever written. There are some interesting observations to make from Shorter’s list: almost half of the authors mentioned are women, living authors were excluded, and there are multiple first novels mentioned. We browsed Shorter’s picks and selected ten great books that should inspire further… Read More

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10 Bizarre Literary Landmarks Everyone Should Visit

Everyone knows about the Important Literary Places, and authors’ graves and childhood homes abound in guidebooks and popular knowledge. But what about the slightly weirder literary landmarks? They’re worth a visit, too, and perhaps even more so — after all, at least one of them can cure your illness if you give it a good rub. From road signs to impossibly smug sculptures, find ten bizarre literary landmarks worth a visit after the jump — and add your own favorites to the list in the… Read More

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Jane Austen Tarot Cards, For a Woman In Want of a Card Deck

We don’t usually associate Jane Austen with the occult; dark-and-stormy stuff is more the Brontës’ bag. But continuing with this week’s theme of literary tarot cards (we posted Lord of the Rings ones yesterday), it seems some enterprising tarot mogul has gone and designed us some Jane Austen tarot cards. The images are occasionally only dubiously related to the term they represent, but who cares: the point of tarot is to interpret, people. Use your imaginations. … Read More

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10 Essential Martin Amis Cultural Essays

When Martin Amis spoke to GQ about his 60th birthday, he seemed defeated, noting: “It all ends in dissolution and chaos and indignity and tears.” We can only imagine what he’s thinking today, on his 64th birthday. While the British novelist ponders mortality with cranky resignation, we’ve gathered a few of Amis’ must-read cultural reviews and essays on literature, art, film, porn, and politics. … Read More

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Then and Now: Photos of Real Places Mentioned in Fiction

Looking through Jane Austen’s England by Roy and Lesley Adkins, it’s difficult not to compare the way things were during England’s Georgian and Regency eras with the England of today. The book gives a glimpse at everything from wedding superstitions to the “Bloody Code” (the country’s system of laws and punishments from 1688 to 1815, including the 50 offenses that were punishable by death), which highlight how much has changed since the time of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. But what about the times and places that influenced other classic authors? More specifically, what do the real places mentioned in famous works of fiction look like now? … Read More

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The Writing Tools of 20 Famous Authors

It’s no secret that writers can be quite particular about their writing tools. Some might call it an obsession or fetish, but the pens, pencils, notebooks, and other implements that authors have used to create their most famous works endlessly fascinates us. After reading an ode to the beloved Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencil, adored for its smooth, firm graphite, we had to find out more about the tools of the literary elite. Take notes, and save your pennies to purchase these writing instruments for… Read More

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