Great May 25 article at bbc.com by Miriam Quick. She describes two recent projects that used data mining to show that that every book in the world uses one of six basic plots. And then she diagrams them, including Pride and Prejudice, which I've screen-grabbed for you above. Check it out here.
An interesting article by James Barron in the New York Times about the real location of West Egg (where Gatsy lived), which is generally though to be Great Neck, Long Island. However, Robert Steven Williams, Richard Webb Jr., and Barbara Probst Solomon believe it was also inspired by Westport, Connecticut, where Scott and Zelda lived in 1920. And they believe Daisy's famous East Egg dock may have been in Westport as well. Maybe we'll have to do another variation on our sticker, for those who favor the theory: East Egg, CT. You can order the L.I. version you see below for $5.95 with free shipping.
A screengrab from a NY Times article by Daniel Victor about how dropping that last serial, or "Oxford," comma, can cost you dearly. My first boss, Corinne L. Murray, would never have let us drop it, under any circumstances. Thanks to Corinne's instruction, I have never had to pay out millions of dollars to anyone.
Screengrab from The New Yorker. The illustration is by Henning Wagenbreth. A terrific read about Mary Shelley by Jill Lepore, in which she examines Frankenstein from an American perspective. I have also been learning about this fascinating writer in Richard Holmes's Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer. In 1972, Holmes followed the path of the Shelleys through Italy. It's a brilliant account of his journey and how he grapples to understand their lives and relationships. In This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer, Holmes writes about Mary Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, with similar insight. Any book by Richard Holmes is well worth picking up, the guy's a genius. At LiteraryLocations.com, we sell both Mary Shelley stickers and Mary Wollstonecraft...
Screengrab from BBC. Great article on the BBC's website about a display of Austen's early writings at the British Library. They include three notebooks written between the ages of 11 and 17. Kathyrn Sutherland, an Oxford professor quoted in the article by Fiona Macdonald, calls them "... exuberantly expressionistic tales of sexual misdemeanor, of female drunkenness and violence." Wow! You can read more here. The show runs from January 10 through February 19. Janeites can order our 3x5" Jane sticker here on our website, without a trip across the pond. $3.95 includes free shipping.