Sophie Ratcliffe is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford and a Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, specialising in 19th and 20th-century literature. She is the author of On Sympathy (2008), the editor of PG Wodehouse: A Life in Letters and a co-editor of the poetry anthology Stressed Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind. Her most recent book is a memoir of love and loss, The Lost Properties of Love (2019). She can be found on Twitter @soratcli.
Interviews with Sophie Ratcliffe
Grief is the Thing with Feathers
by Max Porter
Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012
by Geoffrey Hill
Late Fragments: Everything I Want To Tell You (About This Magnificent Life)
With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial
by Kathryn Mannix
I Capture The Castle
by Dodie Smith
We often think of bereavement in terms of deep melancholy or gentle sadness, but “grief behaves badly and grief is risk-taking”, says Sophie Ratcliffe, Oxford literary critic and author of the memoir The Lost Properties of Love. Here, she recommends five books that may act as a balm for those who have lost someone, and says that the act of reading—any book, any poem—can be consoling.
A prolific writer sometimes oblivious to events going on around him, PG Wodehouse remains so well loved because of his enduring characters and inimitable style, says Sophie Ratcliffe, associate professor of English at Oxford University and editor of his letters.