Helen Dunmore’s remarkable new novel Exposure will take you on an emotional journey of forbidden love and the deepest betrayal. In light of her new book, the author reflects on the process of reading in an essay that explores how we read not just with our eyes, but with our hearts.

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With a story as dramatic and tragic as the Gothic novels she wrote, Charlotte Brontë’s life was not only fascinating, it was inspiring. The main force driving her family, Charlotte encouraged her sisters as poets and novelists, stepped in to support the family after her brother’s death, travelled Europe, and using her own experiences, crafted trailblazing female characters. In this extract from Charlotte Brontë: A Life, you can catch a glimpse of the unique life that inspired her stories.

Read an extract from Emmeline Pankhurst’s My Own Story, an inspiration for the film Suffragette.

In this month’s blog, Lucy Mangan muses on her tumultuous relationship with rhyming verse, from her father’s lyrical outbursts to her teenage poetic epiphany.

Read an extract from Shirley Jackson’s dark masterpiece, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is Waterstones’ Rediscovered Classic for October.

An accomplished novelist and short story writer, and a professor of creative writing at the University of Warwick, A. L. Kennedy understands the perils of relying on real life to draw your fictional characters. In this extract from On Writing, Kennedy describes the responsibility of invading a reader’s space, and how not to fill your fiction with the ghosts of your past.

As part of the new Penguin By Hand series, the cover of Elif Shafak’s The Forty Rules of Love has been recreated in cross stitch by Emma Ruth Hughes. Read more on her creative process in this exclusive interview.