English Literature

A Reluctant Prophet for our Times

C.S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius and Reluctant Prophet by Alister McGrath On 22 November 1963 there was only one piece of news felt worthy of attention: the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy. Almost unnoticed, at home in Oxford, one of the most influential literary critics of his time, persuasive of Christian thinkers and beloved…

Reasons to Study English Literature: Our Spiritual Quest

Geneva Bible

The second in an occasional series for A level students which this time takes a very personal angle on the nature of literary study. Readers of Mister Pip will appreciate the transcendent power of literature: on a war torn Pacific island, the Victorian novel Great Expectations transforms a young girl. It’s a powerful illustration of how story crosses…

A Little Victorian Treat

The Magistrate

The Magistrate – National Theatre If The Magistrate now playing at the National Theatre teaches you one thing, it is to not trust lukewarm reviews; for this is a riotous comedy, an evening of light hearted frivolity, bizarre coincidences and seasonal mirth. Over the years, Victorian comedy has not always been favourably received, lost beneath…

Great Expectations – An Inventive Reworking

Great Expectations, Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury Pity the poor dramatist faced with adapting  Dickens’ Great Expectations. First, it’s long: some recent theatre versions have clocked in at well over three hours. Second, it’s a novel of infinite complexity, the work of a mature writer at the peak of his powers and exploring numerous themes. Third, we all…