The BBC’s 100 best British novels: unpacking the numbers

The BBC released a list on Monday 2 December called ‘The 100 Greatest British Novels’. Jane Ciabattari collated this in an imaginative way, by asking literary critics (ie people who make their living from reviewing books) from outside the UK to give their personal lists of the 10 best British novels, assigning each title points from 1 … Continue reading The BBC’s 100 best British novels: unpacking the numbers

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The two biographies of Naomi Mitchison

I’ve read two biographies of Naomi Mitchison in the past week (working up some conference papers). Both lean very heavily on Mitchison's published memoirs, and note that her record of her interwar life, You May Well Ask (1979), is deliberately vague about some important matters. Jill Benton’s Naomi Mitchison. A Biography (1990) is both rather too personal and unsettlingly … Continue reading The two biographies of Naomi Mitchison