The 19th century’s greatest writers as you’ve never seen them before. In colour.

When most of us picture the past we imagine it in black and white. Hardly surprising when you consider the history of colour photography. Although the first colour photograph was taken way back in 1861 by Thomas Sutton (the Englishman choose a tartan ribbon as his subject), it wasn't until the 1970s that colour snaps became everyday. Consequently, colourizing photos is the only way we can closer to our fantastic ancestors.

Dark days: The fascinating history of the dystopian novel

Dystopia, or the inverse of Utopia, the ideal society, is often thought of as a relatively modern literary genre, but in fact it has a long and fascinating history. Here's a quick run-through of some of the most significant volumes that have made us think long and hard about the societies we live in.

10 war novels that will turn you into a pacifist

There’s a great tradition of dissent expressed in literature, perhaps most obviously exemplified in the WWI poetry of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and their contemporaries, whose ambivalence about wartime sacrifice and the demands of nationalism made them famous. War is great fodder for art, after all – it’s visual and visceral and morally weighty. In fiction, particularly since WWII, the novel has been put to great use as an anti-war satirical device. Here are ten that we reckon ought to put anybody off the smell of napalm in the morning

16 reasons why history’s greatest writers loved books

Stephen King has called books a “a uniquely portable magic.” It's probably one reason that Americans still buy approximately five million books a day and that 125 new ones are published in the US every twenty-four hours. In fact, Google estimates that as of August 2010, there were 129,864,880 books in existence. This love affair with the written word has a long and passionate history and, unsurprisingly, its most ardent supporters have often been writers. Here's why in their own words.

10 must read quotes about television from history’s most creative men

On September 30th, it will be 84 years since the world's first television broadcast. Television, based on Latin and Greek words meaning "far sight", is arguably one of the most influential technologies ever invented. Since the 1950s it's been the main medium for melding public opinion. And now, an incredible 78 percent of the world's households own at least one TV set. Yet throughout its long and illustrious history it's been the subject of much criticism. Here's ten writers, film makers, musicians and poets who who got turned off by the tube.

5 atheist authors who changed history

Writers: rebels and iconoclasts, many of the world's most famous authors have been deep critical thinkers, unafraid to question their society's staple beliefs, one of which has often been religion.

Folk of Genius: The 5 unusual habits of George Orwell

George Orwell: the originator of Big Brother, Double-Speak and the Thought Police, author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, numerous non-fiction books and journalism, one-time BBC producer, soldier and socialist. One of the greats, no doubt about it. But like many creative sorts, Orwell had his idiosyncrasies...