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On the 30th of August 1797, English novelist Mary (Wollstonecraft) Shelley was born in London. She was the wife and muse of Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley, daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and of philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, she was most famous for her Gothic novel Frankenstein (1818). Much of Mary Godwin’s personal life was fraught with misfortune and grief. Almost as soon as she had given literary birth to her hideous creature Frankenstein, her world began to…

Source: The Tragedies of Mary Shelley | A R T L▼R K


In this excerpt from the book More than a Muse, which highlights creative women who have been overshadowed by their more famous spouses, see how the artist Lee Krasner worked her way up to the apex of New York’s art scene, only to often find herself reduced to the role of Jackson Pollock’s wife.

Source: Lee Krasner Has Long Been Eclipsed by Her Much More Famous Artist Husband.


My Sabbatical is Over!

I’m back. However, posts will not be as frequent as during the old days. Also, I’ve decided not to allow your beautiful comments partly because of the time it takes to reply. If there’s one thing I need in excess these days, it’s Time!


Since 1971 the Costa Book Awards have delighted and dazzled readers by picking the most enjoyable books published each year for five-category shortlists – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book. From these category winners the overall Costa Book of the Year is picked and heralded as the finest book published that year – a true masterpiece of imaginative writing.

It is our great pleasure to confirm The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather as the Costa Book of the Year 2019….

Source: The Costa Book Awards 2019

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Jacques-Émile Blanche, “Portrait of Marcel Proust” (1892), oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay ([Public domain] via Wikimedia)

Jacques-Émile Blanche, “Portrait of Marcel Proust” (1892), oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay ([Public domain] via Wikimedia)

Perhaps the most ironic, darkly comic, and touching death scene in 20th-century literature takes place in front of Vermeer’s painting “A View of the Delft” (1660-1661) in Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927).

Bergotte, a terminally ill novelist who has had a decisive influence on…

via Marcel Proust’s Dream of Art


‘It’s as if you want to destroy their childhood’ … Philip Pullman. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

‘It’s as if you want to destroy their childhood’ … Philip Pullman. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

“The function of a book or a poem or a story is to delight, to enchant, to beguile.” Philip Pullman

via Philip Pullman attacks ‘monstrous’ English education policy | Books | The Guardian


axelschefflerAxel Scheffler said that Brexit makes him “sad and angry every day” as he picked up the Illustrator of the Year prize at The British Book Awards last night (14th May).

When receiving the award, Scheffler, who is German, said that while he was “grateful” to receive the prize, he did so with “a heavy heart and maybe even a slightly bitter feeling – it feels like a consolation prize, or even a farewell gift.”

Read more: Scheffler blasts Brexit in British Book Awards speech | The Bookseller


Originally published 19/11/2015

To say I was influenced by the atmosphere of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White — must read it again — would be bending the truth, although I’ve included that sentence in the description boxes at galleries. However, only when I had finished creating it did the book come immediately to mind.

I have used a detail from a photograph by…

via First Night Design | Church at Twilight #Art | First Night Design


Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) — Source.

Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) — Source.

Fashionable in the 16th and 17th century, the art of embroidering unique covers for books saw a comeback in late 19th-century England, from the middle-class drawing room to the Arts and Crafts movement. Jessica Roberson explores the…

via Pens and Needles: Reviving Book-Embroidery in Victorian England – The Public Domain Review


Please put your hands together to welcome Lucy Brazier to First Night Design. She is here to describe the third in her trilogy of amusing and mystery-ridden novels that give new meaning to college life from a female Deputy Head Porter’s point of view.

After avoiding the murderous intentions of The Vicious Circle in First Lady Of The Keys and risking life and limb to find a priceless missing painting in The Vanishing Lord, our heroine Deputy Head Porter finds herself once again at the centre of strange and macabre goings-on in the notorious Old College.

One of the oldest and most illustrious educational establishments in the country, Old College boats a bloody and turbulent 400-year-old history and the arrival of its first female Deputy Head Porter has done little to calm matters. if anything, it’s made them worse. We join Deputy Head Porter at the beginning of a new academic year where the induction of a new Bursar – the enigmatic Professor Dexter Sinistrov – causes ructions. With his first act of office being to cut the tea and biscuit budget for the Porters’ Lodge, he makes himself instantly unpopular with the bowler-hatted staff within. But it is more his penchant for poisoning people that really concerns Deputy Head Porter.

Meanwhile, Head Porter appears to be leading a secret double life and The Dean is convinced that Russian spies are after his job. When two dead bodies turn up at the bottom of the College gardens, Deputy Head Porter is determined that there will not be another College cover-up, even if that does mean begrudgingly working alongside unwelcome outsiders DCI Thompson and DS Kirby. Add to that a wayward College drinking society and an ageing Lothario of a professor and Deputy Head Porter really does have her hands full.

The Blurb:

Sometimes the opposite of right isn’t wrong. It’s left.

Tragedy strikes once more at Old College… The Porters’ Lodge is down to its last tea bag and no one has seen a biscuit for over a week. Almost as troubling are the two dead bodies at the bottom of the College gardens and a woman has gone missing. The Dean is convinced that occult machinations are to blame, Deputy Head Porter suspects something closer to home.

The formidable DCI Thompson refuses to be sidelined and a rather unpleasant Professor gets his comeuppance.

As the body count rises, Head Porter tries to live a secret double life and The Dean believes his job is under threat from the Russian Secret Service.

Deputy Head Porter finds herself with her hands full keeping Old College running smoothly as well as defending herself against the sinister intentions of the new Bursar.

Spies, poisoning, murder – and none of this would be any problem at all if only someone would get the biscuits out and put the kettle on…

This is the third instalment of the world-renowned PorterGirl series set in the ancient and esoteric Old College. Author Lucy Brazier opens the lid on a world which has sinister overtones in this cozy, BritLit mystery.

Available to pre-order now, general release 27th April 2018.

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BZS9H42/

Amazon USA:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BZS9H42/


Follow Lucy Brazier:

www.portergirl.com

www.whoshottonyblair.com

Facebook     @PorterGirl100

Finnegans Wake – a guide by an idiot

Never A Cross Word – A Poirot Parody for Captain Hastings fans everywhere 


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


To celebrate what would have been Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday, here is the great lady herself with ‘I Rise’. She is never less than inspiring. I’ve posted this video before but it never fails to touch my soul.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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