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Armando Iannucci recently said that the UK falls behind the US  when it comes to female comedy writers. Do you find it to be a male-dominated industry?

Delighted! 1,000,000 Britons prepare to enjoy a rattling good read

Twenty thousand people handed out a record number of tomes across the country for the first World Book Night

Great expectations for adaptation of 'best un-produced script'

For years a proposed film adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations by one of Britain's best-loved authors languished in production limbo. The script had even been given the back-handed compliment of an inclusion on an annual list of the best British scripts that could not get made.

A daring new take on a Dickens classic

Relocating Great Expectations to Calcutta is a bold move. Arifa Akbar discovers how a playwright rose to the challenge

When Love Speaks, Edited By Adam O'Riordan

As WB Yeats wrote in a poem not included here (though several of his gems appear), "How but in custom and in ceremony/ Are innocence and beauty born?"

Girl in a Blue Dress, By Gaynor Arnold

Bleak household

Letter from the editor: Keeping an i on education

I don’t know what the precise procedure is for beatification, but I’d like to put forward the name of Mr Paul Wadey, the Head of English at Gad’s Hill School near Rochester in Kent.

King of the New Wave: BFI salutes the brilliant, groundbreaking French film-maker François Truffaut

If there is one scene that sums up the work of the French film-maker François Truffaut (the subject of a major retrospective at the BFI next month), it's a moment midway through his 1976 film, Small Change, about children growing up in a small town in France. A baby boy called Gregory is left alone in a high-rise apartment. He is playing with a pet kitten that refuses to come in from the window ledge and then gets stuck. Gregory playfully tries to rescue the kitten, loses his grip and falls downward to his certain death... but he doesn't die. "Gregory went boom!" the little youngster tells the adult onlookers as he dusts himself off on the ground dozens of floors below. His mother faints. Gregory makes no fuss. Nor does Truffaut. In his universe, no harm should ever be allowed to come to children. The film-maker was, as one friend described him, "a kind soul" and "a treasure trove of tenderness".

The unfinished books that writers can't put down

The latest attempt to complete Charles Dickens 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' follows a great literary tradition, reports Alice-Azania Jarvis

Book Of A Lifetime: Bleak House, By Charles Dickens

Walking into the wrong lecture theatre at the University of York in the spring of 1974, I found myself listening to a dramatised reading of Dickens's 'Bleak House' by a bearded lecturer who took the parts of Mr Chadband and Little Jo the crossing sweeper. Having "done" 'Oliver Twist' and 'David Copperfield' at school, I had no idea that later Dickens novels were masterpieces of attacks on hypocrisy, religion and the charitable classes. I went straight home and read the novel, which came with an introduction by the American academic J Hillis Miller.

A Dickens in a dark Disneyland

Celebrated in his Norwegian homeland, Jo Nesbo became a global sensation with 'The Snowman'. He talked to Christian House

Book Of A Lifetime: Poems, By George Herbert

There are two books I cannot contemplate living without. The first is Dickens's 'Great Expectations' and the second the 'Poems of George Herbert'. I have taken my little Oxford World's Classics edition of the latter, bought in 1957, everywhere I have ever been. It has sustained, delighted and moved me in the heat of Australia and the ferocious cold of the American North-West. Herbert is the most sweet-tempered of the great Metaphysical poets and perhaps the most subtle too. Consider these lines from "Giddinesse":

Dickens series commissioned ahead of anniversary

The BBC will screen a new version of Great Expectations ahead of the 200th anniversary of the birth of novelist Charles Dickens.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: The ghost of Tiny Tim haunts coalition's children in need

The Government's speedy and savage assaults on the welfare state are taking us back to exploitative and deeply unequal Victorian Britain

The Seven Poor Travellers, By Charles Dickens

"Charles Dickens" here means editor as well as author. This is the fifth Christmas number, from 1854, of his journal Household Words. Dickens himself tops and tails the festive story cycle, set after an archetypal Christmas Eve dinner ("I never saw a finer turkey, finer beef") in a Rochester almshouse.

Dickens museum will get £2m facelift

Charles Dickens' former home is to receive a £2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'