The most significant events in the history of books on the 28th of November
1582: William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage licence.
1628: John Bunyan is born. He wrote much of his defining work, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), while imprisoned in Bedford Jail. As well as the famous allegory of The Pilgrim’s Progress – which, as well as arguably being an early English novel, also gave us the name of another classic novel, Vanity Fair – Bunyan also wrote a sort of spiritual memoir, Grace Abounding (1666), and The Life and Death of Mr Badman (1680), a sort of follow-up book to The Pilgrim’s Progress. Read the rest of this entry
A short analysis of a classic autumnal poem by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)
Much of A. E. Housman’s poetry requires no analysis or criticism; its meaning is plain enough to the reader. But the following poem, poem VIII from the posthumously published More Poems (1936) – sometimes known by its first line, ‘Give me a land of boughs in leaf’ – is a particularly fine example of Housman’s style and a brief analysis of it may help to elucidate some of its subtler effects.
Give me a land of boughs in leaf,
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen, there is grief;
I love no leafless land. Read the rest of this entry
Spencer Blohm examines the history of screen adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
For nearly two hundred years the archetype of the ‘mad scientist‘ has been dominated by a single name: Dr. Victor Frankenstein. When Mary Shelley wrote and published her groundbreaking novel in 1818, there’s no way she could have known that her scientist and his creation would come to symbolize so much of the human condition and would be reimagined and reinvented countless times. Soon, what is sometimes referred to as the first science fiction novel, will once again be told on the big screen, this time in Victor Frankenstein. Read the rest of this entry