Queen Elizabeth I’s speech to the troops at Tilbury is among the most famous and iconic speeches in English history. On 9 August 1588, Elizabeth addressed the land forces which had been mobilised at the port of Tilbury in Essex, in preparation for the expected invasion of England by the […]
Friendship is such a universal and central theme to all of our lives, that picking just a small number of the best short stories about such a broad theme is always going to be a challenge. However, the following stories are by some of the finest masters of the short […]
‘Witches’ Loaves’ is a short story by the US short-story writer O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter (1862-1910). His stories are characterised by their irony and by their surprise twist endings. Both of these elements became something of a signature feature, and ‘Witches’ Loaves’ certainly carries a […]
The Valkyries are a key part of Norse myth. But who are the Valkyries, and what role do they play in the stories of northern Europe? Many of us are familiar with the piece of music by the German composer Richard Wagner, ‘Ride of the Valkyries’, which has been used […]
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was a leading figure in English Romanticism. As well as co-authoring the landmark 1798 collection Lyrical Ballads with his friend William Wordsworth, Coleridge was also a critic of unmatched genius, whose pronouncements on Shakespeare, Romanticism, and the literary imagination remain influential even now.