Sublime Shakespeare: ‘Tis Beauty Truly Blent

'... we will draw the curtain and show you the picture.' I loved Shakespeare when I was at school, despite my English teachers. They were not the enthusiastic pedagogues of today, striving to make the bard accessible because every child mattered. My teachers were dry pecking birds who wanted to perpetuate a class system in …

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Slade House – David Mitchell. Come in and feel the noise!

I have just read David Mitchell's 'Slade House'. It took me a day and I didn't put it down. What a clever book! Again, no spoilers from me for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but there is a scarily  weird place, Slade House, where things happen and have happened in the past, which the reader …

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Sorority in literature? Fear it, my dear sister.

I don't have a sister and I never really wanted one. People have told me that older sisters can be bossy and younger ones sometimes behave in a tetchy and clingy way. Of course, these stereotypes are not real and they are perhaps often fuelled by sibling rivalry. What about the older sister who fights …

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Hopkins’ poems: sprung rhythm and ‘unmanly grief’?

If I were to find myself in a position where I would write a thesis about someone who had a creative and intriguing life, a contender for my  research and attention would be the priest and  poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, (1844-1889). He had a fascinating and tragic time on earth: his life was short and his experiences harsh, but …

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