Margery Kempe: The Moaning Mystic

Margery Kempe: The Moaning Mystic

Margery Kempe, the subject of the self-dictated Book of Margery Kempe – often referred to as the first autobiography in the English language – is well known in medieval literary circles, albeit perhaps begrudgingly. She was, and continues to be, a woman difficult to...

George Eliot: The Female Shakespeare

George Eliot: The Female Shakespeare

George Eliot’s Middlemarch was ranked number one in the BBC’s 2015 list of the greatest British novels.[1] Six in the top ten were novels by women, which is pleasing to note this week of International Women’s Day, but George Eliot sits atop the throne as the greatest...

Utopia in Translation: The Many Languages of J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus

Utopia in Translation: The Many Languages of J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus

On both sides of the Atlantic, rhetoricians of populism are calling for a revival of some utopian age: the nation state’s return to its former glory. Politicians are making America great again. They are taking back sovereignty over the United Kingdom and its borders, after decades of violation at the hands of its European neighbours. In this age of post-truth populism, countries are turning inwards to seek a homogenous utopian sphere that, like all utopias, never existed in the first place.