Remembering Browning

“Love, hope, fear, faith – these make humanity;
These are its sign and note and character.”

collection_5295_RobertBrowningRobert Browning was born in Camberwell on May 7th 1812 and educated by private tutors. His parents were wealthy enough to allow him to travel and to be a poet as if it were a profession. He came known by literary figures such s Wordsworth and Landor after the publication of “Paracelsus” in 1835, but he was unrecognized by the public until “Men an Women” appeared twenty years later. He was therefore almost unknown when in 1846 he eloped with Elizabeth Barrett.

He is now widely recognized as a master of dramatic monologue and psychological portraiture. Browning is perhaps best-known for a poem he didn’t value highly, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, a children’s poem that is quite different from his other work. He is also known for his long form blank poem The Ring and the Book, the story of a Roman murder trial in 12 books.

A long dramatic narrative poem, and, more specifically, a verse novel, of 21,000 lines. It was published in four volumes from 1868 to 1869 by Smith, Elder & Co.

The book tells the story of a murder trial in Rome in 1698, where an impoverished nobleman, Count Guido Franceschini, is found guilty of the murders of his wife Pompilia Comparini and her parents, having suspected his wife was having an affair with a young cleric.

“No, when the fight begins within himself, A man’s worth something.”

“One who never turned his back but marched breast forward, never doubted clouds would break, Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph, Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake.”


The love affair between two of the Victorian era’s most famous poets is one of passion, tragedy, illness, and ultimately, endurance. Collected here are their 573 love letters, which capture their courtship, their blossoming love, and their forbidden marriage.


Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.

 

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H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft  – born today, August 20, 1890

He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, lovecraft_0.jpgbut gradually focused on the writing of horror stories. After the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, he contributed most of his fiction therein.
His relatively small corpus of fiction; three short novels and about sixty short stories, has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field. Though virtually unknown before his death, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in his genre.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

Forbidden, dark, esoterically veiled knowledge is a central theme in many of Lovecraft’s works. Many of his characters are driven by curiosity or scientific endeavor, and in many of his stories the knowledge they uncover proves Promethean in nature, either filling the seeker with regret for what they have learned, destroying them psychically, or completely destroying the person who holds the knowledge.

The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft
collects the author’s novel, four novellas, and fifty-three short stories. Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft’s trademark fantastical creatures and
supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, 
that have influenced some of today’s writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman.


“I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”
 -Stephen King  The Call of Ctulhu

“I couldn’t live a week without a private library – indeed, I’d part with
all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I’d let go of the 1500
or so books I possess.” ~H.P. Lovecraft

A man after my own heart!
Who can relate?

René Descartes Remembered

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”

unnamedRené Descartes (1596 – 1650)
French philosopher, mathematician, scientist and writer of the Age of Reason. He has been called the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, and much of subsequent Western philosophy can be seen as a response to his writings. He is responsible for one of the best-known quotations in philosophy:
“Cogito, ergo sum”

(“I think, therefore I am”).

Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes is widely considered to be one of the top philosophical books of all time. For many, Meditations on First Philosophy is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic philosophical literature, this gem by Rene Descartes is highly recommended.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”

A Seussical Tribute

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

How appropriate that this year UK World Book Day falls on the Birthday of the legendary Dr. Seuss!

drseuss300Theodor Seuss Geisel was born today March 2 in 1904 in Springfield, MA. The pen nameDr. Seuss was developed during his years at  Dartmouth College and the University of Oxford. His first jobs were mainly that of an illustrator, working for such companies as Time magazine, Vanity Fair, and Life. Our beloved Dr. Seuss  later became a famous American writer and illustrator; who we know as the author of famous children’s books such as The Cat in The Hat, Oh The Places You Will Go, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Green Egg’s and Ham

“Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”

 

 

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

 

 

Horton Hears a Who!

“A persons a person no matter how small.”

 

 

 

 

The list goes on, and on. I have honestly never read a book by Dr. Seuss
that I did not like, let alone love. drseuss-brand-hero-01

His brilliance and charm have always captured my heart, as well as many others (of all ages and backgrounds.) I believe his clever and inspiring words will continue to have a profound effect on the literary minds of children, the world of education, and serve as an inspiration to those needing to get back to the basics.

dr-seuss-hat-clip-art-yio9LoeiE
Fun Fact:
  During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature

 

Please share about your Dr. Seuss experiences, books you love,
quotes that inspire you, etc.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”