Tuesday, 18 October 2016


A major figure among the English Romantic poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley led an unconventional life and died tragically young.

He was born on 4 August 1792 near Horsham in Sussex. His father was a member of parliament. Shelley was educated at Eton and at Oxford University. There he began to read radical writers such as Tom Paine and William Godwin. In 1811, he was expelled for his contribution to a pamphlet supporting atheism.  Continue reading here.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Thursday, 29 September 2016


Risultati immagini per elizabeth gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson was born on 29 September 1810 in Chelsea, London, England. She was the eighth child born to Elizabeth née Holland (1771-1811) and William Stevenson (c.1770-1829), a writer and civil servant with the Treasury. Her only surviving sibling John (1798–1828), who had joined the merchant navy, disappeared while on a journey to India. An early loss for Elizabeth was her mother's death; she went to live at Heathwaite in Knutsford, Cheshire with her 'more than mother' maternal Aunt Hannah Lumb (1767-1837). Surrounded by mostly female relatives and a busy social life, Knutsford and surroundings, its famous heath and people, would provide much fodder for Elizabeth's future works. Despite the losses she suffered at an early age, she was a gregarious young lady and enjoyed the company of friends and relatives on jaunts in the Cheshire countryside. Continue reading here.
Here and here you can find my previous posts about this writer.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Sunday, 28 August 2016


Risultati immagini per I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH

Risultati immagini per I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH

"I Have a Dream" is a public speech delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on 28 August 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States and called for civil and economic rights. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a decisive moment of the American Civil Rights Movement

Friday, 26 August 2016


The earthquake that struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday has killed almost 300 people. Among scenes of devastation, dozens of emergency services staff and volunteers have been working night and day in the hope of finding people alive in the mangled wreckage of homes in demolished towns.
The earthquake was powerful enough to be felt in Bologna to the north and Naples to the south, both more than 220 km (135 miles) from the epicentre.
Here you can read Beppe Severgnini's article about "Italy's fragile beauty".

Saturday, 20 August 2016


"The Secret Garden"  is a novel by  Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was initially published in serial format beginning in 1910, and was first published in its entirety in 1911.
It is now one of Frances Hodgson Burnett's most popular novels, and is considered to be a classic of English children's literature. 
Here you can find a simplified version of the novel and some activity worksheets here .

Click here to read a book review. Here you can find a  detailed analysis of the novel.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


Born on 3 December 1857,  Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. He joined the British merchant marine in 1878, and was granted British nationality in 1886. Though he did not speak English fluently until he was in his twenties, he was a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. He wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an impassive, inscrutable universe.
On 3 August 1924,  he died at his house in  Kent, England, probably of a heart attack.
He is considered an early modernist, though his works still contain elements of 19th-century realism. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors, including T. S. Eliot and William Faulkner. Writing in the heyday of the British Empire, Joseph Conrad drew on, among other things, his native Poland's national experiences, and his personal experiences in the French and British merchant navies, to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world – including imperialism and colonialism – while exploring human psychology.
Here you can find a detailed analysis of his most famous novels.
Click here to discover a very interesting school project about the novel  Heart of Darkness.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Thomas Hardy  was born in 1840 in the county of Dorset. His father was a stonemason and his mother educated him until age eight. His family was too poor to pay for university, so he became an architect's apprentice until he decided to focus on writing. His stories are generally set in the Dorset area. In 1874 he married Emma Gifford, and her death in 1912 had a profound effect on him. In 1914 he married his secretary, Florence Dugdale. His first few novels were unsuccessful, and even his later works were controversial and often censored. Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure drew strong disapproval  for their sexual frankness and social criticism that Hardy stopped writing fiction, focusing instead on his poetry. He is best known for Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. He died in 1928, at the age of eighty-seven.

Virginia Woolf  noted some of Thomas Hardy’s enduring power as a writer: “Thus it is no mere transcript of life at a certain time and place that Hardy has given us. It is a vision of the world and of man’s lot as they revealed themselves to a powerful imagination, a profound and poetic genius, a gentle and humane soul.”

Monday, 1 August 2016