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Box Hill in Surrey is famous for its beautiful views and features in the Jane Austen novel, Emma (PA)

Have we turned nature into another form of self-indulgence?

Margaret Roberts in Dartford in 1950 (AP)

Last Saturday’s ‘Young Margaret’ offered some telling insights into the former prime minister

A woman holds an enlarged stamp of Nicholas Nickleby from the Royal Mail’s stamp issue marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens (PA photo)

The night Dickens had a Marian vision

As we celebrate 200 years since Dickens’s birth William Oddie recalls the writer’s uncanny vision of a woman in blue

Virgil is wiser than Homer; Dickens is at his best in The Pickwick Papers

Paul Theroux: a mind narrowed by travel (PA photo)

Nineteenth-century writers were an intriguing mix of curiosity and prejudice; modern writers are equally prejudiced, but not in a good way