The surprising day jobs of famous authors

The careers of our most famous authors are often surprising. Stephen King was a school janitor before becoming a bestselling novelist and Hillary Mantel was a social worker.

19 Jun 2019

Argenteuil: the Parisian commune beloved by the Impressionists

During the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, artists slowly made their way back to Paris to begin painting again. In…

28 Apr 2019

Long before Instagram, Venice was a city of distortions

Canaletto altered Venice’s scenery to pander to the tastes of travellers and JMW Turner and Monet followed suit

11 Apr 2019

A room of one’s own: the reclusive habits of famous authors

From boathouses to writing sheds, many a great novel has been born out of locking oneself away from the world

25 Mar 2019

Alter egos: from Bowie and Beyoncé to Marcel Duchamp

Artists across the decades have used alter egos to bring their art to life from Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp to Grayson Perry’s Claire

13 Feb 2019

Authors’ pseudonyms: from Agatha Christie to JK Rowling

pseudonyms give authors the freedom to become as malleable as their characters

4 Feb 2019

How Charles Dickens tried to silence buskers

Street music is a common part of London life, but in the 19th century it survived high-profile attempts to ban it

17 Jul 2018

Fragrance and fiction: a heaven scent combination

Alice Dunn sniffs out the perfumes inspired by great literature

27 Mar 2018
The Poetry Lovers Garden. Designed by: Fiona Cadwallader at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Finding literary inspiration in the garden

How writers and gardeners have influenced one another’s art

24 May 2017