Fiction

The Misses Porter (as they were sometimes called) arguably created the modern historical novel, weaving fascinating, romantic tales out of facts and events culled from history books.

The Forgotten Sisters Who Pioneered the Historical Novel

Jane and Anna Maria Porter ruled Britain's literary scene—until male imitators wrote them out of the story

A stained-glass window depicting Empress Matilda's voyage from England to Normandy

Based on a True Story

The Medieval Power Struggle That Inspired HBO's 'House of the Dragon'

The "Game of Thrones" spinoff takes its cue from the Anarchy, a civil war that saw Empress Matilda and Stephen of Blois vying for the English crown

Joan Hickson as Miss Marple in the BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery in 1989

Twelve Writers Bring Back Agatha Christie's Miss Marple

In a new collection of short stories, contemporary authors take on the much-loved detective

Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek”

Nichelle Nichols, Pioneering 'Star Trek' Actress, Dies at 89

She made history as one of the first Black women to appear in a leading role on television

Margaret Atwood tried burning the new, fireproof version of her novel The Handmaid's Tale with a flamethrower.

Margaret Atwood Tried—and Failed—to Burn a Copy of 'The Handmaid’s Tale.' Here's Why

A fireproof version of her bestseller is a weapon in an ongoing fight against literary censorship

Still from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018). 

The Surprisingly Long History of 'Choose-Your-Own-Adventure' Stories

From the 'I Ching' to an upcoming Netflix rom-com, interactive fiction dares us to decide what happens next

If Thornton Jenkins Hains ever spoke about the Titanic or his short-lived fame in the aftermath of the disaster, those thoughts are now lost to history.

Twice Accused of Murder, This Writer Later Foresaw the Sinking of the Titanic

Under the pseudonym Mayn Clew Garnett, author Thornton Jenkins Hains published a maritime disaster story with eerie parallels to the real-life tragedy

The Queen's Ball, a ticketed experience from Netflix tied to the second season of "Bridgerton," is just one example of modern audiences' enthusiasm for the Regency era.

Based on a True Story

Why Are Regency-Era Shows Like 'Bridgerton' So Popular?

An Austen expert and a period drama TV critic reflect on the enduring appeal of romance series set in turn-of-the-19th-century England

Detail from Tolkien's Conversation With Smaug, 1937

Rarely Seen Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien Portray a Lush 'Lord of the Rings' Landscape

The Tolkien Estate recently published a trove of rare, unpublished art by the famed fantasy author on its website

Medieval manuscripts featuring stories about King Arthur and Camelot

Art Meets Science

How Much Medieval Literature Has Been Lost Over the Centuries?

A new analysis suggests that just 9 percent of manuscripts produced in Europe during the Middle Ages survive today

Toshio Mori's Yokohama, California was slated for publication in fall 1942. Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor—and Mori's incarceration under Executive Order 9066—delayed the short story collection's release until 1949.

The Fascinating—and Harrowing—Tale of the First Japanese American to Publish a Book of Fiction

After his incarceration during WWII, Toshio Mori released a collection of short stories based on his experiences as a second generation Asian immigrant

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer (translated by T. E. Shaw (Col. T. E. Lawrence)), 1935. 

Art Meets Science

See Fantastical Maps From 'Game of Thrones,' 'Lord of the Rings' and More

In honor of the centennial of James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' a San Marino, California exhibition takes museumgoers on a literary journey

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You Could Own the Landmark That Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh's 'Poohsticks Bridge'

Built in 1907, the structure—expected to sell for between $54,000 and $81,000—is newly rebuilt and restored

The Marchioness (2016) depicts a member of the fictional UmuEze Amara family, "one of the oldest noble clans in Nigeria."

Imagining a Different History for Africa Through Art

Toyin Ojih Odutola conjures a world that might have been

Iran's Lake Urmia, once one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world, is vanishing due to climate change.

Innovation for Good

Can Climate Fiction Writers Reach People in Ways That Scientists Can't?

A new subgenre of science fiction leans on the expertise of biologists and ecologists to imagine a scientifically plausible future Earth

Featuring South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora (pictured here), the adaptation arrives amid a national reckoning on systemic injustice, as well as a renewed debate over cultural depictions of violence against Black bodies.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Amazon Prime's 'Underground Railroad'

The adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel reimagines the eponymous trail to freedom as an actual train track

Irmgard Keun’s disappearing act, amid the general chaos of Germany in the interwar and post-war periods, makes piecing together the author’s life a bit of a challenge.

The Extraordinary Disappearing Act of a Novelist Banned by the Nazis

Driven into exile because of her work’s “anti-German” themes, Irmgard Keun took her own life—or did she?

The Lord of the Rings author lived at 20 Northmoor Road on the outskirts of Oxford, England, between 1930 and 1947.

Controversial Crowdfunding Campaign Hopes to Turn J.R.R. Tolkien's House Into a Center for Creativity

The Tolkien Society has raised concerns about Project Northmoor, which is trying to raise $6 million by next March

A still from "Curious Alice," which features original artwork by Kristjana S. Williams

Virtual Travel

Venture Down a VR Rabbit Hole With This Free 'Alice in Wonderland' Tour

The Victoria and Albert Museum will host a free, Lewis Carroll-inspired virtual reality experience on October 22

Novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson is one of 24 authors featured in "Her Story: A Century of Women Writers."

The Women Writers Who Shaped 20th-Century American Literature

A new show at the National Portrait Gallery spotlights 24 authors, including Lorraine Hansberry, Sandra Cisneros and Maxine Hong Kingston

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