Life in the Long 19th Century, Photographs

Photograph: 1913 family picnic, colour

Life in the Long Nineteenth Century Photograph #1 1913: The family of Mervyn O'Gorman, an enthusiastic amateur photographer. A picnic in Dorset, England. Early colour Autochrome Lumière. The long exposure time required may explain the slightly bored looks. For context the following were published in 1913: Fiction Arnold Bennett – The Regent Algernon Blackwood –… Continue reading Photograph: 1913 family picnic, colour

Carl Spitzweg (1808 –1885). The Poor Poet. Der Arme Poet.
Books & art, Readers reading

Painting: The Poor Poet (1839)

Readers reading #5 The Poor Poet (1839) – By Carl Spitzweg (1808 –1885). Neue Pinakothek (New Pinakothek), Munich, Germany. There's a man who has the right priorities. Little furniture, but plenty of books. Leaky roof, but no matter as he has an umbrellor. A poet? Not much new quality written that year. For some context… Continue reading Painting: The Poor Poet (1839)

Book lists, Book trivia

Survey: Classic books Brits want to read

Survey: Classic books British people have read or would like to read Life's too short to read classic books for any other reason than it's something we love to do. Once read they become part of us - part of our mental furniture - friends and companions for the rest of our lives. With that… Continue reading Survey: Classic books Brits want to read

Brooke, Rupert, Writers

Anniversary of Rupert Brooke’s death

Today is the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. The Early Modern period is too early for this little blog, besides I'm sure there will be oceans written today about the great man. Instead I shall write about the anniversary of the death of another writer – Rupert Brooke. The myth and the man.… Continue reading Anniversary of Rupert Brooke’s death

Book trivia, Dickens, Charles, Nicholas Nickleby, Worst couples in literature, Writers

11 worst couples in literature: Madeline Bray and Arthur Gride from Nicholas Nickleby

No. 4.  Madeline Bray and Arthur Gride from Nicholas Nickleby (Charles Dickens) Spoiler alert! The only reason this marriage doesn't happen is that Madeline's father dies one hour before the ceremony is due to begin. But imagine if it had. She is a sweet-natured 18 year old beauty, while he is a 75 year old… Continue reading 11 worst couples in literature: Madeline Bray and Arthur Gride from Nicholas Nickleby

Book lists, Book trivia

The 100 Best Novels (a list from 1898)

I admit it. I'm a bit of a list fiend. I'm attracted to them like a cat to catnip. So I was particularly interested to find this list while browsing the Times Lit blog. It's a '100 Best Novels' list. There are many of these lists about - the only difference is this was one… Continue reading The 100 Best Novels (a list from 1898)

Quotes, Twain, Mark, Writers

QUOTES: Top 10 Mark Twain delights

Mark Twain died 106 years ago todayHere are 10 of my favourite quotes attributed to the great man. 10. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write 'very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” 9. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” 8.… Continue reading QUOTES: Top 10 Mark Twain delights

Brontë, Charlotte, Quizzes, puzzles & humour, Writers

Happy Birthday Charlotte Brontë – 200 today!

Happy birthday Charlotte Brontë! Born 200 yrs ago today. Born: 21 April 1816 – Died: 31 March 1855.  In today’s papers: Why we should be celebrating Charlotte Brontë The secret history of Jane Eyre: Charlotte Brontë’s private fantasy stories (Guardian) Charlotte Brontë quiz  (Telegraph) Charlotte Brontë quiz  (Guardian) Charlotte Brontë quiz  (Daily Mirror) Bronte Parsonage… Continue reading Happy Birthday Charlotte Brontë – 200 today!

Art, Barnaby Rudge, Books & art, Dickens, Charles, Paintings, Readers reading, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Pickwick Papers, Writers

Painting: The Novel Reading (1841)

Readers reading #4 The Novel Reading (1841) - By Josef Danhauser: 1805-1845. A happy couple. I wonder what the armour, book on the floor and general clutter means? I suspect it must mean something because the artist (Josef Danhauser) was a man whose work was inspired by a wonderful series of engravings by the English painter,… Continue reading Painting: The Novel Reading (1841)

Books/Reading, Quotes

QUOTE: Read the best books now – Thoreau

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” ― Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. Good advice. I'm doin' my best, Henry ol' chap - but there's a lot of 'em and only one of me. To put it crudely, wanting… Continue reading QUOTE: Read the best books now – Thoreau