Jane Austen

Mr Darcy through the ages

It's 20 years since Colin Firth emerged wet-shirted from a lake in the BBC's 'Pride and Prejudice'. Now we struggle to imagine a Darcy who isn't all sexy broodiness.

Arifa Akbar: Does a book make its title or the other way around?

Remember the good old days when titles of novels were nothing more than, well, titles, rather than marketing manoeuvres? Wuthering Heights denoted the place where the book was set. The Canterbury Tales were tales told by pilgrims on the way to – yes – Canterbury. Crime and Punishment was about just that. Madame Bovary was the doomed titular figure on which the tragedy was based. King Lear, Hamlet – same deal.

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