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.

Thursday, 4 August 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.

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

Sunday, 31 July 2016


Based on Nicholas Sparks' best-selling novel, The Last Song is set in a small Southern beach town where a separated father gets a chance to spend the summer with his unenthusiastic teenage daughter, who would rather be at home in New York. He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common,  music.

Saturday, 30 July 2016



Emily Brontë was born on 30th July 1818, the 5th child of the Reverend Patrick Brontë, a stern Evangelical curate, and his wife Maria. When Emily was three years old, her mother died of cancer, and her Aunt Branwell, a strict Calvinist, moved in to help raise the six children (another daughter, Anne, was born soon after Emily). They lived in a parsonage in Haworth with the bleak moors of Yorkshire on one side and the parish graveyard on the other. 
Continue reading  here.

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Healthcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” 
Emily Brontë, "Wuthering Heights"

Thursday, 21 July 2016


Jane Eyre was Charlotte Brontë’s second novel, but the first to be published. The first, The Professor, was rejected several times  by the publishers and was published posthumously. Jane Eyre, on the other hand, was accepted at once, favourably reviewed and recognised as something new in English fiction  -  it used traditional conventions in a very personal way. The strong autobiographical element is what typifies all her work and this novel in particular. In fact, Charlotte Brontë’s  fiction is best understood in the light of her personal background, as it is essentially  the expression of her passionate  temper and the imaginary world  in which  she lived.  The first-person  narrator, who in 18th-century fiction was used to add the realism of narration, is used by Charlotte Brontë  to convey  personal feelings  in order that the narrator becomes directly identified with the author. This accounts  for the emotional use of language and reveals the strength of Charlotte Brontë’s feelings and her interest in the nature  of human relationships. She also employed Gothic conventions in a personal way, not just for the sake of arousing  a sense  of horror, but as a means of evoking feelings. The handling of nature  serves the same purpose.  The emotional use of  language, the symbolic handling of nature and the projection of personal feelings are features typical of Romantic poetry, but they appear  for the first time in serious  fiction  in the novels of  Charlotte Brontë. The Romantic aspect is also evident in the male protagonist of Jane Eyre  -  Rochester is a typical Byronic hero. Despite his stern manner and not particularly handsome appearance, he is very attractive to women, but restless and moody and with something mysterious about his past. 
You can read The Guardian review here.
Here you can read the novel.

"Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags." 
Charlotte Brontë