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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


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


poohatvanda

Long before there was Paddington Bear, Shaun the Sheep and Peppa Pig, there was Winnie the Pooh. For over 90 years, the bear with very little brain and his friends Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo and Christopher Robin have entertained and enchanted both…

via Exhibition Review: Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic (V&A) | Enough of this Tomfoolery!


Kyra Kramer recently shared this post on Austen Authors. It speaks so poignantly of the loss of Jane Austen that I thought it appropriate to share here with you on the 200th Anniversary of Jane Aus…

Source: 18 July 1817: The Death of Jane Austen, a Guest Post by Kyra Kramer | ReginaJeffers’s Blog


On the 7th of October 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore, America. He was one of the world’s most renowned crime and horror writers, credited also with inventing the detective and science ficti…

Source: Edgar Allan Poe: Death in a Gutter | A R T L▼R K


FROM THE ARCHIVE 12th May 2013

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Worstward Ho

As you might imagine, Worstward Ho, Bec…

Source: “Fail Better” — Samuel Beckett | First Night Design


dorothy75

“There’s a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.”

Source: Dorothy Parker says: | The Muscleheaded Blog


Can anyone resist Pooh? I think not.


Re-jigged post from 2013.

English: Image of American author Louisa May A...

Louisa May Alcott, from a photo taken just previous to her going to Washington in 1862 as a hospital nurse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”


What? Louisa May Alcott said that!  Surely not.  In case you’re thinking that the author of Little Women was not the woman you had always thought, fear not.  She put this absurd thought into the mouths of one of her characters in Work: A Story of Experience, a semi-autobiographical novel published in 1873 about a determined young lady intent on finding satisfying and worthwhile work.

As if one could ever read too many books; as if a fondness for the written word could ever addle the brain.

littlewomen

The Complete Little Women Series: Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men, Jo’s Boys

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on The Library Time Machine.

First, let’s sort out the local connection. Fanny, or more properly Frances, Burney the 18th century novelist lived in Chelsea twice. Once with some of her family in an apartment at Chelsea College when she finished working as Second Keeper of the Robes for Queen Charlotte, and later in her life at an address in Lower Sloane Street.

Which is good for me because although Frances Burney / Madame D’Arblay was a very remarkable woman and one of the first great English novelists, this week’s post is really about a particular edition of her first novel Evelina.

Now I’ve written nearly 200 of these posts you must have had all my basic thoughts and the variations on them. One thing I seem to say quite often is that things in the past resemble things in the present. People seem to do the same things in the past as they do now and the things they entertained themselves with are like the things we use now for the pursuit of happiness.

One day I went to the Reference store looking for a book illustrated by someone who is nothing to do with this post. In an odd corner of the Dewey Decimal Classification you can find novels, plays and poetry all together at one number, 741.64 classified by the artist who illustrated them. And there I found a 1903 one volume edition of…

via 18th Century escapades: Evelina and Fanny | The Library Time Machine.

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