In Conversation with Novelist Audrey Chin

Extract of an interview on the 'Essence of the Gothic' with Singaporean novelist Audrey Chin What is Gothic literature? Is there a difference between the modern and Victorian variety? Or the Asian and European ones? And why is it considered part of the literature of subversion? I’m a neophyte to the genre. Indeed, I would… Continue reading In Conversation with Novelist Audrey Chin

The First Great American Novel

Originally published by Wordsworth Editions… ‘You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.’ So… Continue reading The First Great American Novel

‘Church ain’t shucks to a circus’: Tom Sawyer and the literature of subversion

Originally published by Wordsworth Editions... Tom Sawyer is one of those transcendent literary characters who go beyond the simply iconic and enter the realm of myth. His statue stands alongside his best friend, Huckleberry Finn, in Mark Twain’s childhood home, Hannibal, Missouri (erected in 1926, it’s one of the first, if not the first, statues… Continue reading ‘Church ain’t shucks to a circus’: Tom Sawyer and the literature of subversion

New Blog Project

I’m launching a new blog today called The Biker Professor. This is a project that’s very close to my heart and long overdue. Lockdown has given me the time to actually do it. This isn’t a blog about mechanics, or a particular brand. It’s more of a lifestyle/cultural history project, with articles on motorcycle history,… Continue reading New Blog Project

Looking for Kafka

New piece for the Wordsworth Editions blog... For an author so revered and obsessively studied, Franz Kafka remains as enigmatic as his fiction. Like Shakespeare, he is a writer about whom so much has been written that it would now be impossible to read it all in a lifetime. And any scrap of textual evidence,… Continue reading Looking for Kafka

‘A man at the top of his game’ – Interview

Nice piece in my hometown paper, the Eastern Daily Press, by Derek James. My mum would have loved this... Norfolk author Stephen Carver is a man at the top of his game. Some say you can’t stick your arm out in the street in Norwich without knocking over a writer. Derek James talks to one… Continue reading ‘A man at the top of his game’ – Interview

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb – Interview

An interview with yours truly by American author and journalist Deborah Kalb... How did you learn about W.H. Ainsworth, and at what point did you decide to write a book about him? That’s a long story. I actually came across his novel, Rookwood, as a grad student in the 90s while researching the publisher Henry… Continue reading Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb – Interview

The Dance of Death: A Tale of the Plague and the Fire

Recommended reading for the self isolating, taken from my latest, The Author Who Outsold Dickens As soon as the epic serial, The Tower of London concluded at the end of 1840, its author, the flamboyant ‘Lancashire Novelist’ William Harrison Ainsworth, threw an enormous celebratory party and promptly began the next serial, Old St. Paul’s, A Tale… Continue reading The Dance of Death: A Tale of the Plague and the Fire

Forgotten Author Who Once Outsold the Literary Giant – Interview

What the Dickens? Sunday Post interview with yours truly about The Author Who Outsold Dickens with Sally McDonald William Harrison Ainsworth is the 19th-Century writer most of us haven’t heard of. Literary historian, editor and novelist Dr Stephen Carver tells Sally McDonald The Honest Truth about why the great man is so unknown nowadays. Why did… Continue reading Forgotten Author Who Once Outsold the Literary Giant – Interview

The Victorian Titanic: The Last Voyage of the HMS Birkenhead

On the 168th anniversary of the wreck of Her Majesty's Troopship Birkenhead, which I once wrote a novel about and am now planning a history of, here's the true story... In the winter 1851, Her Majesty’s Troopship Birkenhead laid at anchor at Portsmouth, awaiting orders. A world away, the British Empire was fighting its third… Continue reading The Victorian Titanic: The Last Voyage of the HMS Birkenhead