By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, a popular poem to be read or recited at weddings, ends with the couplet: If this be error, and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the origins of a famous quotation – and its less famous source ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.’ This line is often quoted, but it’s actually, technically, a misquotation. What’s more, the meaning of this aperçu is worth analysing more closely, because … Read more
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the meaning of a famous line from John Milton ‘They also serve who only stand and wait.’ This line has the ring of the proverb about it, but rather than being some anonymous piece of hand-me down wisdom, the quotation has a very … Read more
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the meaning of a well-known expression Here’s a question for you: who first wrote the line, ‘good fences make good neighbours’? Although it was the American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) who first used that particular wording, the sentiment, expressed in slightly different (though … Read more
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle analyses the famous line from Orwell: ‘some animals are more equal than others’ Animal Farm very nearly didn’t make it into print at all. First, not long after Orwell completed the first draft in February 1944, his flat on Mortimer Crescent in London was … Read more