In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle delves into the origins of a famous Shakespeare quotation ‘Methinks the lady doth protest too much’ is a phrase people sometimes use in jest, especially the sort of folk who are fond of talking of heading to the nearest […]
A Summary and Analysis of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ Fairy Tale
By Dr Oliver Tearle The anonymous fable or fairy tale of the Three Little Pigs is one of those classic anonymous tales which we hear, and have read to us, when we are very young. The fable contains many common features associated with the fairy tale, but there are some […]
Who Said, ‘We Have Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself’?
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle examines the origins of a famous phrase ‘We have nothing to fear except fear itself.’ Those words – and the sentiment they convey – are inextricably bound up with Franklin D. Roosevelt. But what are the origins of the […]
Was Philomela Really a Nightingale?
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle ponders the curious story of Philomela the nightingale from classical myth The story of Philomela is well-known. But a quick reminder never hurts, so here’s the story: Tereus … marries Procne, the daughter of Pandion. Tereus coming a second […]
A Short Analysis of the ‘Yankee Doodle’ Song
‘Yankee Doodle’ is a classic American song, a patriotic tune that is also the state anthem of Connecticut. But where did the words to ‘Yankee Doodle’ come from? And what is the history of this popular tune? Before we delve into an analysis of these issues, here’s a reminder of […]