Neil Rathmell – writer

100+ essays on literary topics

Category Archives: Fiction

Shakespeare and the modern novel

Shakespeare must have read anything and everything that came his way, not just the sources for his plays, which are well known, not just the classical authors who, if Ben … Continue reading

March 16, 2020 · Leave a comment

Telling tales

One day, when she was a little girl, my mother lost her temper with her older sister, Dinah, who had been telling lies about her. In her still barely articulate … Continue reading

December 14, 2019 · 1 Comment

Just a novelist

Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel about love between women is almost a curiosity today, little read and even less understood. Her sixth novel, following Adam’s Breed, for which she had won … Continue reading

August 5, 2019 · Leave a comment

It was the best of Dickens, it was the worst of Dickens

As no lady or gentleman, with any claims to polite breeding, can possibly sympathise with the Chuzzlewit Family without being first assured of the extreme antiquity of the race, it … Continue reading

January 4, 2018 · Leave a comment

A short story by Giovanni Verga

A young Sicilian woman called Nedda declares, at the end of a short story by Giovanni Verga, that it is better to be dead than alive and thanks the Holy … Continue reading

June 8, 2016 · 2 Comments

Submission

By coincidence, I finished reading Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, Soumission, just a few days before Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, was elected Mayor of London. In the novel, another Muslim, Mohammed … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · Leave a comment