I have taught at university for almost a decade now, and yet I still recall my first seminar. I was teaching in the English department, on the first-year undergraduate Shakespeare course, and we were discussing Romeo and Juliet. I had spent two days obsessively preparing a close reading of both Act One, Scene One, and...

English is often criticised as a degree choice. Accused of failing to teach transferable skills that will benefit students when they are searching for a vocation, it is seen as a ‘soft’ subject and, with the recent increase in tuition fees, as a waste of money. I promise you that couldn’t be further from the truth, but...