John Sutherland - Author

About the Author

John Sutherland is a father of three, who lives with his wife and children in south London. For the best part of twenty-five years, he has served as a Metropolitan Police Officer. He won the Baton of Honour as the outstanding recruit in his training school intake and rose through the ranks to become a highly respected senior officer. Over the course of his career, in which he has been awarded several commendations, he has worked in seven different London boroughs, in a variety of different ranks and roles, and he has also been posted to Scotland Yard on three separate occasions. His most recent operational job was as the Borough C ommander for Southwark. John can be found on Twitter and Wordpress as 'policecommander'. Blue is his first book.

Author photo © Zac Crawley

Featured books by John Sutherland

Other books by John Sutherland

Good Brexiteers Guide to English Lit, The

Good Brexiteers Guide to English Lit, The

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/09/2018

What is Nigel Farage's favourite novel? Why do Brexiteers love Sherlock Holmes? Is Philip Larkin the best Brexit poet ever? Through the politically relevant side-road of English literature, John Sutherland quarries the great literary minds of English history to assemble the ultimate reading list for Brexiteers. What happened to Britain on 24 June 2016 shook the country to its roots. The Brexit vote changed Britain. But despite its referendum victory, Brexit is peculiarly hollow. It is an idea without political apparatus, without sustaining history, without field-tested ideology. Without thinkers. It is like Frankenstein waiting for the lightning bolt. In this irreverent and entertaining new guide, Sutherland suggests some stuffing for the ideological vacuity at the heart of the Brexit cause. He looks for jingoistic meaning in the works of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, in modern classics like The Queen and I and London Fields, and in the national anthem, school songs and great poetry of the country. Sutherland explores what Britain meant, means and will mean, and subtly shows how great literary works have a shaping influence on the world. Witty and insightful, and with a preface by John Crace, this book belongs on the shelves of all good, bragging Brexiteers and many diehard Remoaners too.

The War on the Young

The War on the Young

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2018

Intergenerational conflict is a perennial feature of society and capitalism. One side has the youth, the other side has the lion's share of the wealth, and the good things wealth can bring. In the last few years that friction has reached to dangerous heights. Call it war. And, like all war, it has the risk of doing severe damage. In this fiery polemic the author of the best-selling The War on the Old has switched sides, and now examines the conflict as it must appear to the young. For the first time since the Second World War, younger generations can expect less fulfilled lives than their elders. They may not be their `betters', but in the second decade of the twenty-first century they surely are better heeled. Traditionally society's way of controlling the young has been to send them off to war, or conscript them. They would either die, or learn `duty'. Now we send as many as 50% to university, from which they emerge encumbered with debt. As Orwell observed, there is nothing like debt for extinguishing the political fire in your belly. The War on the Young is lively, provocative and ranges wittily, and at times angrily, over many casus belli from the standpoint of the nation's young people. Things are not getting better. This is a timely and highly readable look at a ticking generational time-bomb.

Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2018

Few novels have divided critics more than Mansfield Park. It has been fiercely argued over for more than 200 years, and with good reason: it is open to radically different interpretations. At its broadest, it is a novel about the condition of England, setting up an opposition, as the Austen biographer Claire Tomalin has put it, between someone with strongly held religious and moral principles who will not consider a marriage that is not based on true feeling, and is revolted by sexual immorality, and a group of worldly, highly cultivated, entertaining and well-to-do young people who pursue pleasure without regard for religious or moral principles . Many have dismissed the heroine, Fanny Price, as a mere picture of goodness, but the author of this guide, John Wiltshire, one of the most respected and original of modern Austen critics, dismisses this argument. The still, principled fulcrum of moral right, celebrated and excoriated by earlier critics, he says, is now understood to be a trembling, unstable entity , an erotically driven and conflicted figure . Indeed, in part at least, this is a novel about female desire - the plot revolves around the passionate feelings of two young women, Fanny and Maria. The argument that it is a straightforward defence of the conservative way of life is hard to sustain; it is more plausibly seen as questioning the whole patriarchal basis of society, and in particular the extent to which women were trapped by a system over which they had no control. Far from being devoid of irony, it is now frequently, and perhaps rightly, thought of as the most ironic of all Austen's novels.

Who Is Dracula's Father? And Other Puzzles in Bram Stoker's Gothic Masterpiece

Who Is Dracula's Father? And Other Puzzles in Bram Stoker's Gothic Masterpiece

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/11/2017

When it was first published in 1897 - 120 years ago - Irish author Bram Stoker's Dracula was ranked by the Daily Mail above work by Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as Wuthering Heights. Yet it never made Stoker any money. Since 1931's film Nosferatu the Vampire, however, it has never been out of print and is legendary among fans of the dark, macabre and mysterious ... Critic John Sutherland, a Dracula fan since childhood - and author of the literary puzzle classics Is Heathcliff a Murderer? and Can Jane Eyre be Happy? explores the enigmas and puzzles of this towering giant of gothic novels, such as: Who was Dracula's father? Why does the Count come to England? Does the Count actually give Jonathan a `love bite'? Why does every country we know of have a vampire legend? And finally - how long is it before we're all vampires? The book also includes 'Dracula Digested' by John Crace, author of the Guardian's Digested Reads column.

Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? More Puzzles in Classic Fiction

Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? More Puzzles in Classic Fiction

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/11/2017

'Wonderful...concise, witty, effortlessly learned.' Sunday Times How does Magwitch swim to shore with a great iron on his leg? Where does Fanny Hill keep her contraceptives? Whose side is Hawkeye on? And how does Clarissa Dalloway get home so quickly? In this new edition sequel to the enormously successful Is Heathcliff a Murderer?, John Sutherland plays literary detective and investigates 32 literary conundrums, ranging from Daniel Defoe to Virginia Woolf. As in its universally loved predecessor, the questions and answers are ingenious and convincing, and return the reader with new respect to the great novels that inspire them.

Is Heathcliff a Murderer? Puzzles in Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Is Heathcliff a Murderer? Puzzles in Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/11/2017

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER IN A BRAND NEW EDITION 'Enchanting...the most engagingly boffiny book imaginable.' Spectator Does Becky kill Jos at the end of Vanity Fair? Why does no one notice that Hetty is pregnant in Adam Bede? How, exactly, does Victor Frankenstein make his monster? Readers of Victorian fiction often find themselves tripping up on seeming anomalies, enigmas and mysteries in their favourite novels. In Is Heathcliff a Murderer? John Sutherland investigates 34 conundrums of nineteenth-century fiction, paying homage to the most rewarding of critical activities: close reading and the pleasures of good-natured pedantry

The Brontesaurus An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell)

The Brontesaurus An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell)

Author: John Sutherland, John Crace Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/11/2017

Did Charlotte Bronte take opium? Did the Reverend Bronte carry a loaded pistol? What, precisely, does `wuthering' mean? Distinguished literary critic John Sutherland takes an idiosyncratic look at the world of the Brontes, from the bumps on Charlotte's head to the nefarious origins of Mr Rochester's fortune, by way of astral telephony, letterwriting dogs, an exploding peat bog, and much, much more. Also features `Jane Eyre abbreviated' by John Crace, author of the Guardian's `Digested Reads' column - read Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece in five minutes!

Orwell's Nose A Pathological Biography

Orwell's Nose A Pathological Biography

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2017

Orwell's Nose, now available in paperback, is an original and imaginative account of the life and work of George Orwell, exploring the 'scent narratives' that abound in Orwell's fiction and non-fiction. This illuminating and irreverent book provides a new understanding of one of our most iconic and influential writers.

The War on The Old

The War on The Old

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/11/2016

The war on the old has been declared.In the post-Brexit world, intergenerational conflict has become a visible phenomenon. There is an overwhelming sense of blame from younger generations: it was 'the wrinklies', the grey-haired plutocracy, who voted Leave; who are overburdening hospitals, shutting the youth out of the housing market and hoarding accumulated wealth.By 2020, we are told, one in five Britons will be pensioners, and living a longer retirement than ever before. 'A good thing', politicians add, through gritted teeth. The truth is that for them, 'the old' are a social, economic and political inconvenience.John Sutherland (age 78, and feeling keenly what he writes about) examines this intergenerational combat as a new kind of war in which institutional neglect and universal indifference to the old has reached aggressive, and routinely lethal, levels. This is a book which sets out to provoke but in the process tells some deep and inconvenient truths, revealing something British society would rather not think about.

The Brontesaurus An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell)

The Brontesaurus An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell)

Author: John Sutherland, John Crace Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2016

In the year of Charlotte's bicentenary, a light-hearted miscellany on all things Bronte. Did Charlotte Bronte take opium? Did the Reverend Bronte carry a loaded pistol? What, precisely, does 'wuthering' mean?

Orwell's Nose A Pathological Biography

Orwell's Nose A Pathological Biography

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2016

Some time ago, John Sutherland permanently lost his sense of smell. At about the same time he embarked on a re-reading of George Orwell's works, and his lack of olfactory sense cast an entirely new light on the re-evaluation. What he now noticed was just how acutely attuned to scent Orwell was: rich descriptions of odours, fetors and reeks occur throughout his works, from Winston Smith's apartment building in Nineteen Eighty-Four: 'The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats,' to John Flory's concubine Ma Hla May in Burmese Days: 'A mingled scent of sandalwood, garlic, coconut oil and the jasmine in her hair floated from her.'Orwell's Nose is an original and imaginative account of the life and work of George Orwell, exploring the 'scent narratives' that abound in Orwell's fiction and non-fiction. Along the way the author elucidates questions that remain unanswered in previous biographies, and addresses gaps in the evidence of the writer's life and legacy. Orwell covered his tracks well; this illuminating and irreverent book provides a new understanding of one of our most iconic and influential writers.

The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction

The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/07/2016

With over 900 biographical entries, more than 600 novels synopsized, and a wealth of background material on the publishers, reviewers and readers of the age the Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction is the fullest account of the period's fiction ever published. Now in a second edition, the book has been revised and a generous selection of images have been chosen to illustrate various aspects of Victorian publishing, writing, and reading life. Organised alphabetically, the information provided will be a boon to students, researchers and all lovers of reading. The entries, though concise, meet the high standards demanded by modern scholarship. The writing - marked by Sutherland's characteristic combination of flair, clarity and erudition - is of such a high standard that the book is a joy to read, as well as a definitive work of reference.

How Good is Your Grammar? (Probably Better Than You Think)

How Good is Your Grammar? (Probably Better Than You Think)

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2015

The ultimate test of grammar rules - the grammar book serialised in the Times feature Grammar for Grown-ups . How good is your grammar? John Sutherland, one of Britain's most celebrated professors of English literature, is here to test, stretch, amuse and instruct you with his definitive quiz on all things grammatical. Why do purists insist that 'television' is wrong while 'telephone' is correct? Was Bill Clinton taking risks with language as well as his presidency when he declared, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman'? And can the use of 'ain't' ever be defended, especially when there's no sunshine when she's gone? This is neither a rule book nor a primer but a rollercoaster ride through the mysteries and magic of the world's greatest language.

iGuerilla

iGuerilla

Author: John Sutherland Format: eBook Release Date: 25/06/2015

iGuerilla: Reshaping the Face of War in the 21st Century, is a book in the tradition of Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Winston Churchill's The Gathering Storm. Like Paine, author John Sutherland alerts those in the large populace of the United States and Western Europe that an international war is underway. And like Churchill, he traces the trails of war to the present to bring an understanding of the changing nature of war and the psychology and goals of those who conduct it, and why they conduct it. The book is a projection of the future and delves into the manner in which the future will unveil. It is an illustration too, of how the war is being conducted, by those known as jihadists and the manner in which they use technology to return modern society to a dark age they call the Caliphate. The author describes in detail the weaknesses of those jihadists and how they can be defeated, and the manner that will quiet them for decades to come.

Last Drink to La

Last Drink to La

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2015

I touched bottom, as alcoholics like to say, on 12 February 1983 (the date is slightly fuzzy). Thirty-one years ago John Sutherland nearly lost everything to drink. A married man, with family, working as a visiting professor of English on the west coast of America, he awoke from a blackout to find he was lying next to a stranger - a very strange stranger. This was his morning of clarity; it was time to sober up. Or die. Last Drink To LA is part reportage, part confession, in which John takes a frank look at drinking culture on both sides of the Atlantic, weighing up the pros and cons of Alcoholics Anonymous, which since its launch nearly a century ago has sparked hot debate. Is it a cult, or the best life-saver drinkers have? What John courageously 'shares' here is not a temperance tale (told to terrify, inform and instruct), not what AA calls a 'drunkalog', but a moving and thought-provoking meditation - some thinking about drinking and the devastating effects it has on individuals, families and society at large.

Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway

Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway

Author: John Sutherland, Susanna Hislop Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2014

It is hard to find anyone nowadays who will dare venture a bad word on Mrs Dalloway: its status as a pioneer feminist text and a brilliantly experimental work is wholly secure. At the time of its publication, however, opinions were more mixed. It was hard in the mid-1920s to come to terms with what, for many, seemed a vexatiously new-fangled work. The reading public was not yet ready for the challenge of what came to be called stream of consciousness narrative, or the inner richness of a novel whose main event, a superficial reading might suggest, is an upper-class Conservative politician's wife's purchase of flowers for a summer party. This, recall, in the immediate aftermath of a conflict, the First World War, which had shaken the whole of Europe to its foundations. Before, during, and after writing Mrs Dalloway Woolf teetered on the edge of mental breakdown, and more than once fell into its awful depths. And on the edge of the main plot of Mrs Dalloway, and its heroine's outwardly serene existence, she places Septimus Smith - a shell-shocked survivor of the Great War who finds peacetime too terrible to continue living in. Mrs Dalloway is a novel which provokes thought about the fraught nature of genius, literary modernism, the ambiguous place of women in English society and literature, the infinite complexities of sexual relationships, and even the worthwhileness of life itself. This book seeks to explore all this and to show that reading Mrs Dalloway can be one of the most rewarding experiences English fiction has to offer.

A Little History of Literature

A Little History of Literature

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2014

This 'little history' takes on a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. John Sutherland is perfectly suited to the task. He has researched, taught, and written on virtually every area of literature, and his infectious passion for books and reading has defined his own life. Now he guides young readers and the grown-ups in their lives on an entertaining journey 'through the wardrobe' to a greater awareness of how literature from across the world can transport us and help us to make sense of what it means to be human. Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humor as well as learning: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, 1984, and dozens of others. He adds to these a less-expected, personal selection of authors and works, including literature usually considered well below 'serious attention' - from the rude jests of Anglo-Saxon runes to The Da Vinci Code. With masterful digressions into various themes - censorship, narrative tricks, self-publishing, taste, creativity, and madness - Sutherland demonstrates the full depth and intrigue of reading. For younger readers, he offers a proper introduction to literature, promising to interest as much as instruct. For more experienced readers, he promises just the same.

How to be Well Read A Guide to 567 Essential Novels

How to be Well Read A Guide to 567 Essential Novels

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/05/2014

His taste is impressively catholic: an appreciation of The Ambassadors is immediately followed by a consideration of American Psycho. War and Peace, Heat and Dust and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all make an appearance. There are imposing Victorian novels, entertaining contemporary thrillers and everything in between, from spy novels to romance. In each case a sense of the flavour of the novel is brilliantly evoked and a compelling case made for why it should be a candidate for the bookshelf or bedside table. The end result is both a wonderful dip-in book and a virtual history of the novel.

Lives of the Novelists A History of Fiction in 294 Lives

Lives of the Novelists A History of Fiction in 294 Lives

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/08/2013

Arranged in chronological order, the novelist's lives are opinionated, informative, frequently funny and often shocking. Professor Sutherland's authors come from all over the world; their writings illustrate every kind of fiction from gothic, penny dreadfuls and pornography to fantasy, romance and high literature. The book shows the changing forms of the genre, and how the aspirations of authors to divert and sometimes to educate their readers, has in some respects radically changed over the centuries, and in others - such as their interest in sex and relationships - remained remarkably constant.

Jane Austen's Emma

Jane Austen's Emma

Author: John Sutherland, Jolyon Connell Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/09/2012

A heroine whom no-one but myself will much like, the author famously proclaimed. In fact, in any league of likeability Miss Woodhouse is streets ahead of Miss Fanny - the ostentatiously meek heroine of Mansfield Park. Meek Emma is not. Indeed it is her sense of absolute sovereignty over her little world of Highbury - her right, as she presumes, to dispose of the marriage choices of those in her circle - which brings her to grief. And that grief, by the familiar course of the heroine's moral education in Austen's fiction, makes her, through remorse and repentance, a mature woman capable of forming correct judgements. Not least about whom Miss Woodhouse herself will marry. Emma, of all the six great novels, is the one which conforms most closely to Austen's famous formula that three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on . Emma is, by general agreement, the quietest of the novels. Some have complained that there is not enough of a story in it, but others, as this guide shows, have found the plot in Emma the most successful Austen achieved. It is, for example, unusual among the sextet in playing a cunning trick on the reader who - unless they are sharp (sharper certainly than Miss Woodhouse) - may well be deluded as to which eligible young (or less than young) man the heroine will end up spending the rest of her life with. Or whether, given her frequently uttered distaste for marriage, she will end up the only unwed of the six heroines at the end of it all.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Author: John Sutherland, Jolyon Connell Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/2012

When The Great Gatsby was first published, in 1925, reviews were mixed. H.L. Mencken called it no more than a glorified anecdote . L.P. Hartley, author of The Go-Between, thought Fitzgerald deserved a good shaking : The Great Gatsby is evidently not a satire; but one would like to think that Mr Fitzgerald's heart is not in it, that it is a piece of mere naughtiness. Yet, gradually the book came to be seen as one of the greatest - if not the greatest - of American novels. Why? What is it that makes this story of a petty hoodlum so compelling? Why has a novel so intimately rooted in its own time lasted into ours? What is it that posterity, eight decades later, finds so fascinating in this chronicle of the long-gone Jazz Age , flappers, speakeasies and wild parties? It is, after all, scarcely a novel at all, more a long short story. But it has a power out of all proportion to its length. It is beautifully written, making it feel even shorter than it is, and is full of haunting imagery. It is also, perhaps, the most vivid literary evocation of the Great American Dream , about which it is profoundly sceptical, as it is about dreams generally. In the end, however, as D.H. Lawrence would put it, it is on the side of life . Gatsby's dream may be impossible, so much so that the book can end in no other way than with his death, but up to a point he is redeemed by it and by the tenacity with which he clings to it. It is this that makes the novel so moving and so haunting.

Charles Dickens's Great Expectations

Charles Dickens's Great Expectations

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/2012

Great Expectations is one of the best-selling Victorian novels of our time. No Dickens work, with the exception of A Christmas Carol, has been adapted more for both film and television. It has been as popular with critics as it has with the public. In 1937, George Bernard Shaw called the novel Dickens's most compactly perfect book . John Lucas describes it as the most perfect and the most beautiful of all Dickens's novels , Angus Wilson as the most completely unified work of art that Dickens ever produced . Great Expectations has been so successful partly because it's an exciting story. Dickens always had a keen eye on the market and subscribed to Wilkie Collins's advice: make `em laugh, make `em cry, above all make `em wait. From the violent opening scene on the marshes to the climax of Magwitch's attempted escape on the Thames, the story is full of suspense, mystery and drama. But while these elements of Great Expectations have ensured its popularity, it is also a novel which, as this guide will seek to show, raises profound questions not just about the nature of Victorian society but about the way human relationships work and the extent to which people are shaped by their childhoods and the circumstances in which they grow up.

Lives of the Novelists

Lives of the Novelists

Author: John Sutherland Format: eBook Release Date: 27/03/2012

No previous author has attempted a book such as this: a complete history of novels written in the English language, from the genre's seventeenth-century origins to the present day. In the spirit of Dr. Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, acclaimed critic and scholar John Sutherland selects 294 writers whose works illustrate the best of every kind of fiction—from gothic, penny dreadful, and pornography to fantasy, romance, and high literature. Each author was chosen, Professor Sutherland explains, because his or her books are well worth reading and are likely to remain so for at least another century. Sutherland presents these authors in chronological order, in each case deftly combining a lively and informative biographical sketch with an opinionated assessment of the writer's work. Taken together, these novelists provide both a history of the novel and a guide to its rich variety. Always entertaining, and sometimes shocking, Sutherland considers writers as diverse as Daniel Defoe, Henry James, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Michael Crichton, Jeffrey Archer, and Jacqueline Susann.Written for all lovers of fiction, Lives of the Novelists succeeds both as introduction and re-introduction, as Sutherland presents favorite and familiar novelists in new ways and transforms the less favored and less familiar through his relentlessly fascinating readings.

The Dickens Dictionary An A-Z of England's Greatest Novelist

The Dickens Dictionary An A-Z of England's Greatest Novelist

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2012

For fans new and old, an enjoyable tour through the world of Dickens in the hands of a master critic. Charles Dickens, the 'Great Inimitable', created a riotous fictional world that still lives and breathes for thousands of readers today. But how much do we really know about the dazzling imagination that brought all this into being? For the bicentenary of Dickens' birth, Victorian literature expert John Sutherland has created a gloriously wide-ranging alphabetical companion to Dickens' work, excavating the hidden links between his characters, themes, and preoccupations, and the minutiae of his endlessly inventive wordplay. Covering America, Bastards, Childhood, Christmas, Empire, Fog, Larks, London, Madness, Murder, Orphans, Pubs, Punishment, Smells, Spontaneous Combustion and Zoo to name but a few - John Sutherland gives us a uniquely personal guide to the great man's work. Excerpt: HANDS; Every Dickens novel has a master image. In Our Mutual Friend it is the river. In Bleak House it is the fog. In Little Dorrit, it is the prison. In Great Expectations it is the hand. We often know much more about the principals' hands in that novel than their faces. Who, when the name Magwitch is mentioned, does not think of those murderous 'large brown veinous hands'? Jaggers? One's nose twitches---scented soap (the lawyer, like Pontius Pilate, is forever washing his hands). Miss Havisham? Withered claws. So it goes on...

Dickens Dictionary

Dickens Dictionary

Author: John Sutherland Format: eBook Release Date: 01/02/2012

For fans new and old, an enjoyable tour through the world of Dickens in the hands of a master critic. Charles Dickens, the 'Great Inimitable', created a riotous fictional world that still lives and breathes for thousands of readers today. But how much do we really know about the dazzling imagination that brought all this into being? For the bicentenary of Dickens' birth, Victorian literature expert John Sutherland has created a gloriously wide-ranging alphabetical companion to Dickens' work, excavating the hidden links between his characters, themes, and preoccupations, and the minutiae of his endlessly inventive wordplay. Covering America, Bastards, Childhood, Christmas, Empire, Fog, Larks, London, Madness, Murder, Orphans, Pubs, Punishment, Smells, Spontaneous Combustion and Zoo to name but a few - John Sutherland gives us a uniquely personal guide to the great man's work. Excerpt: HANDS; Every Dickens novel has a master image. In Our Mutual Friend it is the river. In Bleak House it is the fog. In Little Dorrit, it is the prison. In Great Expectations it is the hand. We often know much more about the principals' hands in that novel than their faces. Who, when the name Magwitch is mentioned, does not think of those murderous 'large brown veinous hands'? Jaggers? One's nose twitches---scented soap (the lawyer, like Pontius Pilate, is forever washing his hands). Miss Havisham? Withered claws. So it goes on...

Bestsellers Popular Fiction of the 1970s

Bestsellers Popular Fiction of the 1970s

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2011

First published in 1981, this book offers a study of British and American popular fiction in the 1970s, a decade in which the quest for the superseller came to dominate the lives of publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. Illustrated by examples of the lurid incidents that catapult so many books into the bestseller charts, this comprehensive study covers the work of Robbins, Hailey and Maclean, the 'bodice rippers', the disaster craze, horror, war stories and media tie-ins such as The Godfather, Jaws and Star Wars.

Love, Sex, Death and Words Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

Love, Sex, Death and Words Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

Author: John Sutherland, Stephen Fender Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2011

Love, sex, death, boredom, ecstasy, existential angst, political upheaval - the history of literature offers a rich and varied exploration of the human condition across the centuries. In this absorbing companion to literature's rich past, arranged by days of the year, acclaimed critics and friends Stephen Fender and John Sutherland turn up the most inspiring, enlightening, surprising or curious artefacts that literature has to offer. Find out why 16 June 1904 mattered so much to Joyce, which great literary love affair was brought to a tragic end on 11 February 1963 and why Roy Campbell punched Stephen Spender on the nose on 14 April 1949 in this sumptuous voyage through the highs and lows of literature's bejewelled past.

50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know

50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/01/2011

Literature suffers from appearing both deceptively easy and dauntingly difficult. We all like to think we can read a novel and understand what 'genre', 'style' and 'narrative' mean, but do we really understand them fully and how they can enrich our reading experience? How should we approach the works of great writers such as William Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen? And what can we hope to learn from apparently difficult ideas such as 'hermeneutics', 'affective fallacy' and 'bricolage'? 50 Literature Ideas you Really Need to Know is the essential guide to all the important forms, concepts, themes and movements in literature. It provides a clear, opinionated and thorough overview of theories about the nature of language and meaning, and outlines the thinking behind key literary concepts such as postmodernism, semiology, postcolonialism and structuralism. Best-selling author and critic John Sutherland offers a fresh and challenging overview of literary ideas and theories, from the apparently familiar to the decidedly unfamiliar. Packed with insights and examples from both classic and popular works, it is a book that will delight anyone who has ever been mystified by literary jargon and wants to gain a deeper, more thorough enjoyment of reading and writing.

World War II

World War II

Author: John Sutherland, Diane Sutherland, Paul Cornish Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/10/2010

From the declaration of war by Britain and France on September 3rd 1939 to the horrific atomic conclusion of the war against Japan in August 1945, the Second World War drew every country into its grasp. This powerful, information-rich and accessible reference book is organized by year and works, week-by-week, through the battles and the lives and deaths of leaders and ordinary people who suffered and strived through the chaos and the action. Also highlighted are the causes and legacy of this most incredible period of our history.

Love, Sex, Death and Words Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

Love, Sex, Death and Words Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature

Author: John Sutherland, Stephen Fender Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/10/2010

Love, sex, death, boredom, ecstasy, existential angst, political upheaval - the history of literature offers a rich and varied exploration of the human condition across the centuries. In this absorbing companion to literature's rich past, arranged by days of the year, acclaimed critics and friends Stephen Fender and John Sutherland turn up the most inspiring, enlightening, surprising or curious artefacts that literature has to offer. Find out why 16 June 1904 mattered so much to Joyce, which great literary love affair was brought to a tragic end on 11 February 1963 and why Roy Campbell punched Stephen Spender on the nose on 14 April 1949 in this sumptuous voyage through the highs and lows of literature's bejewelled past.

Bestsellers Popular Fiction of the 1970s

Bestsellers Popular Fiction of the 1970s

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/09/2010

First published in 1981, this book offers a study of British and American popular fiction in the 1970s, a decade in which the quest for the superseller came to dominate the lives of publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. Illustrated by examples of the lurid incidents that catapult so many books into the bestseller charts, this comprehensive study covers the work of Robbins, Hailey and Maclean, the 'bodice rippers', the disaster craze, horror, war stories and media tie-ins such as The Godfather, Jaws and Star Wars.

Curiosities of Literature A Book-lover's Anthology of Literary Erudition

Curiosities of Literature A Book-lover's Anthology of Literary Erudition

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2009

How much heavier was Thackeray's brain than Walt Whitman's? Which novels do American soldiers read? When did cigarettes start making an appearance in English literature? And, while we're about it, who wrote the first Western, is there any link between asthma and literary genius, and what really happened on Dorothea's wedding night in Middlemarch? In Curiosities of Literature, John Sutherland contemplates the full import of questions such as these, and attempts a few answers in a series of essays that are both witty and eclectic. His approach is also unashamedly discursive. An account of the fast-working Mickey Spillane, for example, leads to a consideration of the substances, both legal and illegal, that authors have employed to boost their creative energies. An essay on good and bad handwriting points out in passing that Thackeray could write the Lord's Prayer on the back of a stamp. As for Mary Shelley, a brief recital of the circumstances in which she wrote Frankenstein stops off to consider what impact the miserable summer weather of 1816 had on the future path of English literature. Of course, it is debatable whether knowledge of these arcane topics adds to the wisdom of nations, but it does highlight the random pleasures to be found in reading literature and reading about it. As John Sutherland rightly asks, 'Why else read?'

So You Think You Know Jane Austen? A Literary Quizbook

So You Think You Know Jane Austen? A Literary Quizbook

Author: John Sutherland, Deirdre Le Faye Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/02/2009

How well do you really know your favourite author? Ace literary detective turned quizmaster John Sutherland and Austen buff Deirdre Le Faye challenge the reader to find out. Starting with easy, factual questions that test how well you remember a novel and its characters, the quiz progresses to a level of greater difficulty, demanding close reading and interpretative deduction. What really motivates the characters, and what is going on beneath the surface of the story? Designed to amuse and divert, the questions and answers take the reader on an imaginative journey into the world of Jane Austen, where hypothesis and speculation produce fascinating and unexpected insights. Whether you are an expert or enthusiast, So You Think You Know Jane Austen? guarantees you will know her much better after reading it. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction

The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/01/2009

With over 900 biographical entries, more than 600 novels synopsized, and a wealth of background material on the publishers, reviewers and readers of the age the Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction is the fullest account of the period's fiction ever published. Now in a second edition, the book has been revised and a generous selection of images have been chosen to illustrate various aspects of Victorian publishing, writing, and reading life. Organised alphabetically, the information provided will be a boon to students, researchers and all lovers of reading. The entries, though concise, meet the high standards demanded by modern scholarship. The writing - marked by Sutherland's characteristic combination of flair, clarity and erudition - is of such a high standard that the book is a joy to read, as well as a definitive work of reference.

The Boy Who Loved Books

The Boy Who Loved Books

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/2008

A memoir in the tradition of Lorna Sage's Bad Blood and Blake Morrison's When Did You Last See your Father? John Sutherland's childhood ended abruptly the day his father was killed at the beginning of World War Two - happily before he could kill any Germans. John's widowed mother fell in love with a new man and decamped to Argentina, leaving John to be looked after by various relatives - some more suited to raising children than others. It was an odd, unsettled childhood and John took refuge in books. He quickly learned how to fit in without disturbing people, and, in doing so, began to store up resentments as a child. These resentments, with the trigger of alcohol in later life, would one day explode - serially and for many years. The Boy Who Loved Books is an account of a disrupted childhood, but it is also an account of one man's often desperate love affair with reading matter. Books in many ways changed his life, propelling him to university, and sustaining him in the dark times that were to come. It is also a record of the shifting twentieth century and the profound changes that shook society and its ways of dealing with children in the institutions of family, school and university.

Bestsellers: A Very Short Introduction

Bestsellers: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/10/2007

'I rejoice', said Doctor Johnson, 'to concur with the Common Reader.' For the last century, the tastes and preferences of the common reader have been reflected in the American and British bestseller lists, and this Very Short Introduction takes an engaging look through the lists to reveal what we have been reading - and why. John Sutherland shows that bestseller lists monitor one of the strongest pulses in modern literature and are therefore worthy of serious study. Along the way, he lifts the lid on the bestseller industry, examines what makes a book into a bestseller, and asks what separates bestsellers from canonical fiction. Exploring the relationship between bestsellers and the fashions, ideologies, and cultural concerns of the day, the book includes short case-studies and lively summaries of bestsellers through the years: from In His Steps - now almost totally forgotten, but the biggest all-time bestseller between 1895 and 1945, to Gone with the Wind and The Andromeda Strain, and The Da Vinci Code. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nobel Lectures 20 Years of the Nobel Prize for Literature Lectures

Nobel Lectures 20 Years of the Nobel Prize for Literature Lectures

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2007

As the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature is announced, Icon publish twenty years of powerful lectures from previous winners, introduced by former Booker Prize chairman-of-judges, critic and author John Sutherland. Here are Nobel lectures by the Literature Laureates from the past twenty years that together offer a glimpse into the inspirations, motivations and passionately-held beliefs of some of the greatest minds in the world of literature. Mediations on imagination and the process of writing intermingle with polemical discussions of global politics, cultural change and the ongoing influence of the past. All the writers demonstrate in their essays lyrical beauty and ethical depth; the result is an intelligent and humanistic integrity. From Harold Pinter, we hear about the nature of truth in art and politics. Toni Morrison explores the link between language and oppression. J.M. Coetzee takes an allegorical journey through the mysteries of the creative process, while Nadine Gordimer ponders the ways in which literature can shape the worlds of individual and collective being. Orhan Pamuk's touching 2006 lecture describes how his father inspired him to write. Nobel Lectures attests to the continuing power of literature to shape the world.

Golem of Brick Lane

Golem of Brick Lane

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2005

Welcome to future past. We are in the reign of Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution is forcing great and terrible changes on the world. But civilisation stands at a junction: one road will lead to wealth, peace and prosperity, the other to war, poverty and ruin. Clockwork limbs, steam-powered automobiles, tanks and robots; aerial warships and an endless variety of inventions have been built using Steam Age technology. Dark and mysterious forces lurk on the fringes of civilisation, both human and supernatural. These forces reveal themselves as fleeting images only to those who have the power to see beyond the normal. YOU are Nicholas Fantom, a young newspaper reporter who has seen these forces, although few dare believe your visions. Only YOU have the will to battle these shadow empires. In The Golem of Brick Lane London is wreathed in smoke and fog: out there stalks a terrible and terrifying creature. Its victims are carried away to an unknown fate. YOU, a reporter on the Daily Examiner, are despatched to uncover the truth. But even YOU are not prepared for what you will face beneath the streets and hovels of the city. The hunter becomes the hunted in the world of labyrinths and sewers inhabited by nightmare creatures.

The Fields of Dreams

The Fields of Dreams

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/08/2004

Last Drink to La

Last Drink to La

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2001

Since its launch 70 years ago, Alcoholics Anonymous has sparked hot debate. IN AA to LA, John Sutherland examines the exotic mutation of the movement in the hothouse atmosphere of southern California. This book is part-reportage, part-confession - a study of AA as it has evolved alongside the Dream Factory of Hollywood, laced with personal testimony from two generations of Sutherlands who have passed through it. When it comes to cleaning up, West is best - or at least more fun...

The Life of Walter Scott A Critical Biography

The Life of Walter Scott A Critical Biography

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/11/1997

John Sutherland's new critical biography is an undertaking of major importance in which he penetrates into the darker areas of Scott's life in a sceptical (yet sympathetic) spirit,

The Oxford Book of English Love Stories

The Oxford Book of English Love Stories

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/02/1996

Love, so the song goes, is a many-splendoured thing, and fiction has been trying for years both to promote and subvert the cliches it encourages. We turn to literature to learn what love is and what it should be, and readers of this collection will find consolation and inspiration in equal measure from some of the sharpest observers of this most essential human emotion. In tracing the lineaments of 'English love' through the fiction of 200 years we can see something of its infinite variety and of the shifting rules of the game. Sylvia Plath seems closer to Aphra Behn than to Elizabeth Gaskell or even Thomas Hardy in her concept of feminine modesty, while violence, or sheer incomprehension, enter the definition in the worlds of D. H. Lawrence and Katherine Mansfield. Romantic love is at the heart of the 'love story' and these stories, while taking love as their subject, do not always follow the conventional route. Bittersweet endings, ironic angles on traditional platitudes and other surprises make the insights of writers such as Anne Ritchie, Somerset Maugham or V. S. Pritchett always fresh and challenging. Simple or sophisticated, sometimes comic and often very moving, these stories bring a delightful perspective to the mysteries of the English in love.

The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction

The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction

Author: John Sutherland Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/1990

An engaging guide to a rich literary heritage, The Stanford Companion presents a fascinating parade of novels, authors, publishers, editors, reviewers, illustrators, and periodicals that created the culture of Victorian fiction. Its more than 6,000 alphabetical entries provide an incomparable range of useful and little-known source material, its scholarship enlivened by the author's wit and candor.

Mrs Humphry Ward Eminent Victorian, Pre-eminent Edwardian

Mrs Humphry Ward Eminent Victorian, Pre-eminent Edwardian

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/08/1990

Mary Ward (1851-1920) had a furiously active public career, her literary and philanthropic activities transforming her from an eminent Victorian into a pre-eminent Edwardian. The granddaughter of Thomas Arnold, she found herself at the centre of an intellectual and cultural coterie comprising the Arnold, Huxley, and Trevelyan families. Her novel, Robert Elsmere (1888), the first of a series of bestsellers, earned her both unprecedented sums of money and the critical respect of writers such as Henry James. She helped found Somerville College, Oxford, the University's first institution for the higher education of women, and inaugurated a number of play centres for the children of London's working women, despite being a fierce opponent of women's suffrage. As the first female reporter to visit the trenches in 1916, she was instrumental in bringing America into the war. Yet for all her achievements, her private life was overshadowed - often tragically so - by misfortune. Her parents's marriage was seriously affected by her father's religious doubts; she eclipsed her husband, a Times journalist and art critic, while her indolent son frittered away her financial and emotional resources. John Sutherland's fascinating study of the private suffering of this predominantly public person also provides useful insights into the restrictions placed upon women in the late-Victorian-Edwardian era. This title also appears in the Oxford General Books catalogue for Autumn 1990.

Offensive Literature Decensorship in Britain, 1960-1982

Offensive Literature Decensorship in Britain, 1960-1982

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/1983

This provocative book takes decensorship from the 1960 Lady Chatterley trial through the long-term drive against pornography which continues into the 1980s.

The History of Henry Esmond

The History of Henry Esmond

Author: John Sutherland, William Makepeace Thackeray Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/09/1980

'What spectacle is more august than that of a great king in exile? Who is more worthy of respect than a brave man in misfortune?' When Henry Esmond appeared in 1852, noted writers and critics of the time acclaimed it as the best historical novel ever written. Set in the reign of Queen Anne, the story follows the troubled progress of a gentleman and an officer in Marlborough's army, as he painfully wrestles with an emotional allegiance to the old Tory-Catholic England until, disillusioned, he comes to terms of a kind with the Whiggish-Protestant future. This change also entails a very uncomfortable switch in his affections. The love story of Henry Esmond is charged with sombre, unconscious emotions, yet is skilfully embedded into historical events which are convincing but never too prominent.

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