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Monday, February 1, 2016

Robert Frost Quick Facts

Robert Frost

Leading 20th century American poet.
  • Full Name: Robert Frost
  • Birth Name: Robert Lee Frost
  • Birth: March 26, 1874
  • Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, USA
  • Death: January 29, 1963
  • Place of Death: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Cause of Death: complications ensued from prostate surgery
  • Buried: Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont
  • Epitaph: “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
  • Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Nationality: American
  • Father: William Prescott Frost, Jr. (1850-1885)
  • Mother: Isabelle Moodie (1844-1900)
  • Siblings: 1 Sister, Jeanie Florence Frost (1876-1929)
  • Spouse: Elinor Miriam White (1873–1938)
  • Number of Children: 6
- Son: Elliot Frost (1896–1904)
- Daughter: Lesley Frost Ballantine (1899–1983)
- Son: Carol (1902–1940)
- Daughter: Irma Frost (1903–1967)
- Daughter: Marjorie Frost (1905–1934)
- Daughter: Elinor Bettina Frost (1907-1907)
  • Education: Harvard University, Lawrence High School, Dartmouth College
  • Known for: his realistic depiction of rustic life in colloquial American speech
  • Criticised for: his incapability of grasping the predicament of modern man
  • Influences: William Wordsworth (1770 –1850), John Keats (1795 –1821), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 –1882), John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 –1892), James Russell Lowell (1819 – 1891), Emily Dickinson (1830 –1886), Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917), Thomas Hardy (1840 –1928), Ezra Pound (1885 –1972), Rupert Brooke (1887 – 1915), Robert Graves (1895 –1985)
  • Influenced: Robert Francis (1901–1987), Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), Maxine Kumin (1925 –2014), and Timothy Steele (b. 1948)


  • Pulitzer Prize, New Hampshire (1924)
  • Honorary degree, Yale University (1924)
  • Russell Loines Poetry Prize (1931)
  • Pulitzer Prize, Collected Poems (1931)
  • Honorary degree, Dartmouth College (1933)
  • Pulitzer Prize, A Further Range (1937)
  • Honorary degree, Harvard University (1937)
  • Gold Medal for Poetry, National Institute of Arts and Letters (1939)
  • Gold Medal, Poetry Society of America (1941)
  • Honorary degree, Princeton University (1941)
  • Pulitzer Prize, A Witness Tree (1943)
  • First Annual Poetry Award, Boston Arts Festival (1954)
  • Medal for Distinguished Service, Theodore Roosevelt Society (1954)
  • Honorary degree, Oxford University (1957)
  • Honorary degree, Cambridge University (1957)
  • Gold Medal for Distinguished Service, Poetry Society of America (1958)
  • Emerson-Thoreau Medal, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1958)
  • Medal for Achievements in the Arts, Signet Society, Harvard College (1958)
  • Congressional Gold Medal (1960)
  • Poet Laureate of Vermont (1961)
  • Edward MacDowell Medal (1962)
  • Bollingen Prize in Poetry (1963)


“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Major Themes

  • Nature
  • Human Tragedy
  • Man’s relationship to man
  • Rural Life
  • Alienation of the individual
  • Duty
  • Rationality versus Imagination
  • Youth and the Loss of Innocence

Major Works:

  • A Boy's Will (1913 U.K. edition, 1915 U.S. edition)
  • North of Boston (1914 U.K. edition, 1915 U.S. edition)
  • Mountain Interval (1916)
  • New Hampshire (1923)
  • West-running Brook (1928)
  • The Lovely Shall Be Choosers (1929)
  • Collected Poems (1930)
  • The Lone Striker (1933)
  • From Snow to Snow (1936)
  • A Further Range (1937)
  • Collected Poems (1939)
  • A Witness Tree (1942)
  • Come In, and Other Poems (1943)
  • A Masque of Reason (1945)
  • Steeple Bush (1947)
  • A Masque of Mercy (1947)
  • Hard Not to be King (1951)
  • In the Clearing (1962)

Did you know?

  • Frost’s father was an alcoholic.
  • His father died of tuberculosis when Frost was only 11 years old.
  • Frost’s mother died of cancer when he was 26 years old.
  • Frost and his family members such as, his mother, wife, younger sister, and daughter Irma suffered from mental illness.
  • His wife Elinor developed breast cancer in 1937 and died of heart failure in 1938.
  • Four of his six children died before him. His first child Elliot died in 1904 of cholera. His daughter Elinor Bettina died one day after her birth in 1907. His daughter Marjorie died in 1934 of puerperal fever after childbirth. His son Carol committed suicide in 1940.
  • Frost admitted his sister Jeanie to a mental hospital for treatment, but she eventually died in 1929.
  • Both Frost and his wife graduated as valedictorians from high school.
  • Frost thought of committing suicide after Elinor refused his first marriage proposal in 1894.
  • In 1895 Frost proposed to Elinor for the second time, which she could not refuse.
  • Besides being a poet, Frost also worked as a cobbler, editor of a newspaper, school teacher, and professor.
  • His wife Elinor was a major inspiration of his poetry.
  • Frost is a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry.
  • Frost’s poems were first published in England since none of the American publishers were interested on a new poet.
  • Frost’s first book of poems was A Boy’s Will (1913) which was published by the British publisher David Nutt.
  • When Frost returned to America in 1915, he received much acclaim for his North of Boston.
  • Even though Frost dominated the field of poetry in the mid-20th century, the number of poets influenced by him is very insignificant.
  • When he was 86, President John F. Kennedy invited Frost to read a poem at his inauguration. But due to poor eyesight and the blinding reflection of the sun he could not read the script he prepared and recited the 1941 poem The Gift Outright from his memory. He was the first poet to recite a poem at a Presidential inauguration.
  • His epitaph quotes the last line from his poem, The Lesson for Today (1942): "I had a lover's quarrel with the world."

Media Gallery:

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

John F. Kennedy awarding Frost the Congressional Gold Medal
John F. Kennedy awarding Frost the Congressional Gold Medal


“Robert Frost Biography.” 2016. Television Networks, LLC. 15 January 2016

“Robert Frost.”Wikipedia. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 January 2016

“Robert Frost.” Shmoop. 2016. Shmoop University. 15 January 2016

“Robert Frost: 10 Interesting Facts about the Famous Poet.” Learnodo. 2015.
Learnodo Newtonic. 15 January 2016 <>.

“Robert Frost.” 2016. 15 January 2016


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quotations by Seamus Heaney


The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.
~ Seamus Heaney, Digging

God is a foreman with certain definite views
Who orders life in shifts of work and leisure.
~ Seamus Heaney, Docker

Dispraise the catch, and smile
As you find a rhythm
Working you, slow mile by mile,
Into your proper haunt
Somewhere, well out, beyond...
~ Seamus Heaney, Casualty

Honeymooning, moonlighting, late for the Proms,
Our echoes die in that corridor and now
I come as Hansel came on the moonlit stones
Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons.
~ Seamus Heaney, The Underground

Who would connive
in civilized outrage
yet understand the exact
and tribal, intimate revenge.
~ Seamus Heaney, Punishment

All I know is a door into the dark.
~ Seamus Heaney, The Forge

A people hungering from birth,
grubbing, like plants, in the bitch earth,
were grafted with a great sorrow.
~ Seamus Heaney, At a Potato Digging

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot,
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.
A four foot box, a foot for every year.
~ Seamus Heaney, Mid-Term Break

How culpable was he
That last night when he broke
Our tribe's complicity?
'Now, you're supposed to be
An educated man,'
I hear him say. 'Puzzle me
The right answer to that one.'
~ Seamus Heaney, Casualty

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
~ Seamus Heaney, The Cure at Troy


Friday, January 15, 2016

William Golding Quick Facts

William Golding was an influential 20th century English poet, novelist and playwright.


Full Name: William Gerald Golding
William Golding
AKA: Sir William Gerald Golding
Pseudonym: None
Date of Birth: 19 September 1911
Place of Birth: Newquay, Cornwall, England, UK
Nationality: British
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Death: 19 June 1993
Place of Death: Perranarworthal, Cornwall, England, UK
Cause of Death: Heart failure
Place of Burial: Bowerchalke, South Wiltshire
Father: Alec Albert Golding (1877- 1958)
Mother: Mildred Mary Agatha Golding (1871-1960)
Siblings: 01 elder brother: Joseph Golding
Spouse: Ann Brookfield (?-1995)
No of Children: 02
Son: David Golding (b. 1940)
Daughter: Judith Diana (b. 1945)
Known for: his allegorical magnum opus Lord of the Flies (1954), a disturbing study on the inherent violence in human nature
Criticized for: always taking a controversial view on subjects most people found abhorrent, including paedophilia and bondage
Influences: William Shakespeare (1564 –1616), R. M. Ballantyne (1825 –1894), Joseph Conrad (1857 –1924), H. G. Wells (1866 –1946), George Orwell (1903 – 1950), Richard Hughes (1900 –1976)
Influenced: Stephen King (b. 1947), William Butler, Jaime Clarke (b. 1971)
Alma Mater: Marlborough Grammar School; Brasenose College, Oxford; University of Oxford


“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Major Themes

  • Inherent evil of man
  • Atrocities of war
  • Sociopolitical concerns
  • Fall of man
  • Human fear

Notable Works

  • Poems (1934)
  • The Brass Butterfly (1958)
  • Lord of the Flies (1954)
  • The Inheritors (1955)
  • Pincher Martin (1956)
  • Free Fall (1959)
  • The Spire (1964)
  • The Pyramid (1967)
  • The Scorpion God (1971)
  • Darkness Visible (1979)
  • The Paper Men (1984)
  • To the Ends of the Earth (trilogy)
- Rites of Passage (1980)
-Close Quarters (1987)
-Fire Down Below (1989)
  • The Double Tongue (1995)
  • The Hot Gates (1965)
  • A Moving Target (1982)
  • An Egyptian Journal (1985)

Did You Know?

  • Golding was born at his grandmother’s house in Newquay, Cornwall, England.
  • Golding’s father was a schoolmaster at the Marlborough Grammar School, while his mother was active in the Women's Suffrage Movement.
  • He grew up with his elder brother Joseph in Wiltshire.
  • Golding and his brother studied at his father’s school.
  • He went to Brasenose College, Oxford to study natural science to pursue his dream to become a scientist. However, after 2 years he migrated into English literature for his increasing interest in literature.
  • In 1939, Golding got married to Ann Brookfield, an analytic chemist and remained married to her until his death and died beside her.
  • Ann Brookfield died on New Year’s Day, eighteen months after her husband, and was buried beside him in the graveyard at Bowerchalke.
  • When Golding was 18 he tried to rape a 15-year-old Marlborough girl named Dora, who fought him off to save herself from his clutches. However, two years later the pair met again and had sex in a field. But eventually Golding broke up with her for two reasons: firstly he feared that she might get pregnant, secondly she was below his social status.
  • Once he engaged with his school life friend Mollie Evans, but ultimately he declined to marry her for the same reasons as with Dora.
  • Golding was a heavy drinker and he often disgraced himself at social occasions.
  • In 1993, Golding died of heart failure in Tullimaar House at Perranarworthal, Cornwall, where his son David and daughter Judith still live.
  • In 1935 he started teaching English and philosophy at Bishop’s Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury but abandoned teaching in 1940 to join the Royal Navy to participate in World War II. However, having returned from war he went back to teaching.
  • His experience from five years’ service in the Royal Navy during World War II, helped to mould his theme of inherent violence in human nature.
  • His first novel was The Lord of the Flies, which is considered one of the most important literary works of the twentieth century.
  • Lord of the Flies was originally titled The Strangers Within.
  • Lord of the Flies was influenced by R. M. Ballantyne’s 19th children's classic The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific (1858).
  • Although Golding wrote a number of other novels, none were as successful as Lord of the Flies.
  • Lord of the Flies has been translated into many languages and was adapted into film in 1963 and 1990.
  • Golding secured a Nobel Prize for Lord of the Flies in 1983, nearly 2 decades after the novel was first written.
  • Lord of the Flies faced rejection from at least 21 publishers before final acceptance by Faber & Faber.
  • Golding was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.
  • He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage.
  • Prior to his death he was working on The Double Tongue, an unfinished manuscript, which was published posthumously in 1995.
  • Seahorse, Circle Under the Sea and Short Measure are amongst some of his works that never got published.
  • Golding could not endure even the slightest criticism of his work, so most of the time he used to leave the country whenever a new book was about to publish.
  • Golding was a recluse and had always been apathetic to face the media or to publish his biography. After Golding’s demise John Carey came forward to publish his first biography entitled William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies.

Photo Gallery

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding & his wife Ann in their Wiltshire Garden in 1983

William Golding & Ann Golding

William Golding with His Wife Ann, Daughter Judith & Son David in the Late 1940s

William Golding (right) with his Elder Brother Jose in c.1914

William Golding in 1913

Golding (right) with his brother Jose in c. 1924


 “Lord of the Flies.” GradeSaver. 2016. GradeSaver LLC. 1 January 2016

Pujante, Juan Javier Herraiz.“Golding's Themes.” MURAL. 1995. Juan Javier Herraiz Pujante.
1 January 2016 <>.

  Roberts, Glenys. “New book reveals Lord of the Flies author William Golding's
Own Life Was Shockingly Depraved. Daily Mail. 2016.
Associated Newspapers Ltd. 1 January 2016

“Sir William Gerald Golding, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1983.”
2016. 1 January 2016

 “William Golding.” 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 1 January 2016

“William Golding” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.
 “William Golding Biography.” 2016., Inc. 1 January 2016


Saturday, January 2, 2016

John Keats Quick Facts

John Keats was a major poet from the English Romantic movement.


  • Full Name: John Keats
    John Keats
  • Pseudonym: None
  • Date of Birth: 31 October 1795
  • Place of Birth: Moorgate, London , England
  • Baptism: St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
  • Zodiac Sign: Scorpion
  • Nationality: British
  • Death: 23 February 1821
  • Place of Death: Rome, Papal States
  • Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
  • Place of Burial: Protestant Cemetery, Rome
  • Epitaphs:
This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water
  • Father: Thomas Keats (?-1804)
  • Mother: Frances Jennings Keats (?-1810)
  • Siblings: 3 brothers and 1 sister
1. Brother: George Keats (1797-1841)
2. Brother: Tom Keats (1799-1818)
3. Brother: Edward Keats (1801-1802)
4. Sister: Frances Mary "Fanny" Keats (1803-1889)
  • Marriage: Never Married
  • Fiancé: Fanny Brawne (1800-1865)
  • Alma Mater: King's College London
  • Known for: his rich and melodious verse with vivid imagery, which evokes high sensuousness and often expresses a philosophy though mythological reference.
  • Criticized for: not dealing with the current political, social or religious events of the day.
  • Influences: Edmund Spenser (1552/1553–1599), Michael Drayton (1563–1631), William Shakespeare(1564–1616), John Donne (1572 –1631), William Browne(c. 1590 – c. 1645), John Milton (1608–1674), William Wordsworth (1770 –1850), Leigh Hunt (1784 –1859), Lord Byron (1788 –1824).
  • Influenced: Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809 –1892), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 –1882), Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), W.B. Yeats (1865–1939), Edward Thomas (1878–1917), Wallace Stevens (1879–1955), D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930), T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), Wilfred Owen (1893–1918), Philip Larkin (1922 –1985), Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013), Dan Simmons (1948), and Neil Gaiman (1960)


"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness."John Keats, Endymion

Major Themes

  • Nature
  • Beauty
  • Melancholy
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Life
  • Death
  • Art
  • Escapism
  • Ideal Vs Reality
  • Separation Vs Connection

Notable Works:

  • Poems (1817)
  • Endymion (1818)
  • "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1819)
  • "Ode to a Nightingale" (1819)
  • "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (1819)
  • "On Autumn" (1820)
  • Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820)

Did You Know?

  • Keats’ father was a livery-stable keeper.
  • John Keats was the eldest of the four surviving children to his parents.
  • Keats was eight years old when his father died.
  • His father died of a skull fracture, suffered when he fell from his horse while returning home from visiting John and George at Enfield school.
  • Within a year of his father’s death Keats’ mother married William Rawlings, a stable-keeper, but the marriage did not last long.
  • Keats died of tuberculosis, the disease which killed his mother and Tom,his brother.
  • Although he engaged with Fanny Brawne, the tuberculosis ceased him from marrying her.
  • Along with Byron and Shelley, Keats represented the second generation of Romantic poets.
  • Despite being one of the major members of the Romantic Movement, Keats was never directly associated with the other poets of the movement and he often felt uneasy amongst them.
  • During his death Keats requested to add a short phrase on his tombstone (Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water). However, his two close friends Joseph Severn and Charles Brown decided to extend the epitaph with a few additional phrases.
  • Upon Keats’ death his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley composed the elegy Adonais.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley died just one year after Keats and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome, where Keats is also buried.
  • Keats’ poetry received fierce criticism from the then critics, yet his reputation has proved to be more enduring than the names of any of his critics.
  • He studied medicine at a London hospital and became a licensed apothecary in 1816. But he never practiced to pursue his dream of becoming a poet.
  • Despite the fact that his life spanned just 25 years and wrote only 54 poems, his accomplishment is more remarkable compared to his short lifetime.
  • During his lifetime Keats published only three books of poetry.
  • Keats' Endymion is a four-thousand-line long poem based on the Greek myth.
  • Keats’s letters suggest that his first female friend was Isabella Jones who he met in May 1817. Although it is not clear how intense the relationship was but possibly Keats had sexual relationship with her.
  • In 1818 Keats fell in love with a woman named Fanny Brawne.
  • The romance between Keats and Fanny became known seven years after her death when her children sold the love letters. Until then, Fanny was just a secret lover of Keats as her identity was unknown to the world.
  • The Fall of Hyperion remained unpublished until more than three decades after Keats' death.
  • In the year 1819 Keats contracted tuberculosis and his health deteriorated rapidly.
  • Before Keats left for Rome Fanny gave him a journal and paper so he could write to her, but Keats neither wrote to her nor opened any of her letters. She also gave him an oval marble which she used to cool her hands while sewing, which Keats held in his hands till his death.
  • In his lifetime Keats had very insignificant readership and his genius was fully recognized long after his demise.
  • During his lifetime he managed to publish only three volumes of poetry and was able to sell only 200 copies out of these works.
  • Keats nursed Tom when he became seriously ill due to tuberculosis, thereby exposing himself to the deadly infection.
  • After hearing Keats’ death news Fanny mourned for six long years and subsequently married more than 12 years after his death.


" Fanny Brawne Biography & Facts.” English History. 2015. English History.
5 December 2015 <>.

"John Keats.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 5 December 2015

“John Keats” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

"John Keats: Biography.” Shmoop. 2015. Shmoop University. 5 December 2015


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jane Austen Quick Facts

Jane Austen was an English novelist from the Georgian Era.


  • Full Name: Jane Austen
    Jane Austen
  • Pseudonym: "By A Lady", "The Author of 'Sense and Sensibility'"
  • Date of Birth: December 16, 1775
  • Place of Birth: Steventon, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Baptism: April 5, 1776
  • Nationality: British
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
  • Death: July 18, 1817
  • Place of Death: Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Cause of Death: Debatable
  • Place of Burial: Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England
  • Father: George Austen (1731–1805)
  • Mother: Cassandra Leigh Austen (1739–1827)
  • Siblings: 6 brothers and 1 sister
    1. Brother: James (1765–1819)
    2. Brother: George (1766–1838)
    3. Brother: Edward (1768–1852)
    4. Brother: Henry Thomas (1771–1850)
    5. Brother: Francis William (Frank) (1774–1865)
    6. Brother: Charles John (1779–1852)
    7. Sister: Cassandra Elizabeth (1773–1845)
  • Known for: her witty studies of day-to-day life of members of the upper middle class of early-19th-century English society and her skillful treatments of character and situation.
  • Criticized for: having very limited range of themes.
  • Influences: Samuel Richardson (1689–1761), Henry Fielding (1707–1754), Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), Frances Burney (1752 – 1840), Charlotte Lennox (c. 1730 – 1804), William Cowper (1731 – 1800), George Crabbe ((1754 –1832), Robert Burns (1759 –1796), Maria Edgeworth (1768 –1849), Walter Scott (1771 – 1832).
  • Influenced: George Eliot (1819 – 1880), Irvine Welsh (1958 –), Sophie Kinsella (1969 –), Carrie Bebris, Regina Jeffers, and KaraLynne Mackrory.


"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Major Themes

  • Social Commentary
  • Class Distinction
  • Courtship
  • Marriage
  • Condition of Women

Notable Works:

  • Sense and Sensibility (1811)
  • Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  • Mansfield Park (1814)
  • Emma (1815)
  • Northanger Abbey (1818, posthumous)
  • Persuasion (1818, posthumous)

Did You Know?

  • Her father, George Austen was a country clergyman at Steventon.
  • Her mother held a higher social status than her father.
  • Austen was the last of the eight children of the couple.
  • During her youth, Austen almost died of typhus.
  • Although Austen never married, she had a few relationships during her youth. Her first love was Tom Lefroy who she could not marry as his parents did not find her suitable for their son. Afterwards, during a family vacation at Lyme Regis, Austen met a young man who fell in love with her. Although he left promising that they would meet again, sometime later Austen heard that he had died. Lastly, once Austen accepted a marriage proposal from Harris Wither, who was six years younger than her. She agreed to marry him only to ensure financial security to her family. But she cancelled the engagement in the next day realizing the hollowness of this relationship.
  • Austen died at the age of 41 from a painful illness which gradually declined her physical condition. The disease was never diagnosed but now it is believed that she had been suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, bovine tuberculosis, or a delayed relapse of epidemic typhus as strong possibilities.
  • Her older sister Cassandra Elizabeth Austen was Austen’s best friend.
  • After Austen’s demise Cassandra burned several of her letters that contained very private and potentially embarrassing information about her sister.
  • Cassandra lived to age 72 and never married.
  • Jane Austen's first book was published when she was 36 years old.
  • During her lifetime Jane published all of her books anonymously, these include Pride and Prejudice (1813), Sense and Sensibility (1811), Emma (1815), and Mansfield Park (1814).
  • The other two novels: Persuasion and Northanger Abbey was published posthumously.
  • Austen was never a best-seller in her lifetime and she earned only £ 684.13 from the four of her novels.
  • The title of Pride and Prejudice was inspired by the book Cecilia (1782) by the English novelist Frances Burney.
  • Austen’s draft of First Impressions later published as Pride and Prejudice, whereas Susan later published as Northanger Abbey.
  • Austen’s brother Henry was her literary agent.
  • Her last work Sanditon left unfinished at the time of her death.
  • Austen is the only novelist before Charles Dickens who still has a significant popular readership.
  • Although Austen often classified as either Romantic or Victorian, in reality neither of the movements influenced her.
  • Her writing was mostly inspired by her own family and her own life.
  • Her storytelling technique has been repeated in numerous literary works, movies and television series.


“Jane Austen” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

“Jane Austen.” The 2015. A&E Television Networks. 9 November 2015 <>.

“Jane Austen: What books were on her reading list?.” BBC. 2015. BBC. 9 November 2015

“Charles Dickens.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 November 2015


Friday, November 27, 2015

Charles Dickens Quick Facts

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens was an influential English author and critic from the Victorian period.


  • Full Name: Charles John Huffam Dickens
  • Pseudonym: Boz
  • Date of Birth: 7 February 1812
  • Place of Birth: Landport, Portsmouth, England
  • Baptism: 4 March 1812, Portsmouth, England
  • Zodiac Sign: Pieces
  • Nationality: British
  • Death: 9 June 1870
  • Place of Death: Higham, Kent, England
  • Cause of Death: Stroke
  • Place of Burial: Westminster Abbey, London
  • Father: John Dickens (1785–1851)
  • Mother: Elizabeth Dickens (née Barrow; 1789–1863)
  • Siblings: 7 Nos.
  1. Sister: Frances Dickens (1810-1848)
  2. Brother: Alfred Dickens (1814)
  3. Sister: Laetitia Mary Dickens (1816-1874)
  4. Sister: Harriet Dickens (1819)
  5. Brother: Frederick William Dickens (1820-1868)
  6. Brother: Alfred Lamert Dickens (1822-1860)
  7. Brother: Augustus Newnham "Moses" Dickens (1827-1868)
  • Marriage: 2 April 1836 at St. Luke's Catholic Church
  • Spouse: Catherine Thomson Hogarth (1816–1879)
  • No of Children: 10 Nos.
  1. Son: Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (1837-1896)
  2. Daughter: Mary Dickens (1838-1896)
  3. Daughter: Kate Macready Dickens (1839-1929)
  4. Son: Walter Landor Dickens (1841-1863)
  5. Son: Francis Jeffrey Dickens (1844-1886)
  6. Son: Alfred Tennyson Dickens (1845-1912)
  7. Son: Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens (1847-1872)
  8. Son: Henry Fielding Dickens (1849-1933)
  9. Daughter: Dora Annie Dickens (1850-1851)
  10. Son: Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens (1852-1902)
  • Known for: creating complex plots and a wide varieties of striking characters that captured an all-encompassing picture of the Victorian English society.
  • Criticized for: harboring racist views.
  • Influences: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), Miguel de Cervantes (1547—1616), Honoré de Balzac (1799—1850), Washington Irving (1783—1859), Henry Fielding (1707—1754), Laurence Sterne (1713—1768), Jane Austen (1775—1817), Victor Hugo (1802—1885), Sheridan Le Fanu (1814—1873).
  • Influenced: Karl Marx (1818—1883), Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), George Orwell (1903—1950), Mark Twain (1835—1910), Anne Rice (1941—), John Irving (1942—), and George R. R. Martin (1948—).


"Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape." Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Major Themes

  • Victorian society
  • Class Distinction
  • Poverty
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Free Will
  • Suffering
  • Identity
  • The Abuse of Power
  • Family
  • Christian Values
  • Morals and Ethics
  • Politics

Notable Works:

  • Curiosity Shop
  • Oliver Twist
  • Nicholas Nickleby
  • Barnaby Rudge
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Martin Chuzzlewit
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • David Copperfield
  • Great Expectations
  • Bleak House
  • Little Dorrit
  • Hard Times
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • The Pickwick Papers

Did You Know?

  • Dickens is one of the voluminous writers of the Victorian era.
  • Although his father John Dickens held a respectable position of a clerk in the British Navy, he had little social status.
  • Dickens concealed the background of his paternal grandparents since they were servants.
  • Dickens was the second of eight children of his parents.
  • Dickens grew up in adverse poverty since his father was always entangled in debt.
  • His father, John Dickens was put into the debtors’ prison in 1824.
  • During his father's imprisonment, Dickens couldn't attend school since he was sent to work in Warren’s Blacking Warehouse, a shoe-polish factory.
  • Even thought the shameful incident of his father's imprisonment and his working experience in the shoe-polish factory shaped his writing, Dickens could not confide these even to his wife.
  • His first love was Maria Beadnall, but the relationship could not progress since her banker father disliked Dickens.
  • On 2 April 1836, at the age of 24, Dickens married Catherine Thomson Hogarth, the daughter of George Hogarth, the editor of the Evening.
  • The couple was blessed with the first child, Charley in January 1837.
  • His marriage to Catherin was largely unsuccessful.
  • When he was 45 years old, Dickens fell deeply in love with the 18-year-old Ellen Ternan and decided to divorce his wife Catherine.
  • Majority of his novels published in monthly or weekly instalments.
  • The Pickwick Papers was Charles Dickens’s first novel.
  • Dickens is credited for establishing the method of publishing novels in serial installments in monthly magazines.
  • Dickens reached the pinnacle of his success with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers.
  • Dickens became a full-time novelist after the success of his The Pickwick Papers.
  • His novels are still printed today because of their enduring popularity.
  • Although he had little formal education, Dickens became an exceptionally successful writer.
  • His last work Mystery of Edwin Drood was unfinished since he died of a stroke in 1870.


“Charles Dickens.” 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 11 November 2015
< >.

“Charles John Huffam Dickens” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.


Friday, November 6, 2015


In Greek mythology Selene (also called Mene) is the Titan goddess of the moon. Her Roman counterpart is Luna. Pursuant to prevalent accounts, she is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia and a sister to Helios(Roman equivalent: Sol) and Eos (Roman equivalent: Aurora). However, some other sources ascribe her as the daughter of Hyperion and Euryphaessa, or of Pallas and Euryphaessa, or of Zeus and Latona, or lastly of Helios.

Luna by François Léon Benouville (1821-1859), French painter
Selene is often associated with other moon goddesses such as Artemis (Roman equivalent: Diana) and Hecate (Roman equivalent: Trivia). However, in artworks they are distinguished as three different deities. In essence, neither Artemis nor Hecate was worshipped singly as the moon goddess, rather they were revered for a number of purposes. For instance, Artemis was worshiped as the goddess of chastity, virginity, the hunt, the moon, and the natural environments.Again, Hecate was worshiped as the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. On the contrary, Selene was venerated solely as the personification of the moon itself. Due to her association with Artemis, her brother Helios is identified with Apollo (also called: Phoebus). Consequently, Selene is frequently called Phoebe (fem. of Phoebus).

In art, Selene is portrayed as a very beautiful young lady with an exceptionally pale face. She usually dressed in a long robe and had a lunate crown above her head. Like her brother Helios, Selene journeyed across the sky in a silver chariot drawn by two winged horses. However, in some artworks her chariot was drawn by two oxen or mules and her crown was resembled more like the horns of a bull. Selene started her journey soon after her brother Helios completed his. Myths account that she bathed in the sea before initiating her journey across the sky.

She is best known for her passionate love for Endymion, the handsome son of Zeus, who is diversely known as either a shepherd, or a hunter, or a king. Selene was so attracted with Endymion’s unmatched beauty that she granted him the gift of everlasting youth from Zeus. Another account relates that Selene was so deeply moved by the way Endymion looked while he was asleep in a cave that she requested Zeus to keep him like that forever. Still another myth suggests that Selene was so obsessed with Endymion that she asked Zeus to allow him to decide his own destiny. Accordingly, Zeus granted her request and Endymion chose to sleep eternally without having susceptible to aging or death. It is said that while Endymion dreamt of holding the moon in his arms, Selene bore him fifty daughters representing the fifty lunar months of an Olympiad, the four-year span between Olympic Games.

Selene and Endymion (detail), by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), French Baroque painter

Different sources refer that she had a few other love affairs. For instance, by her affair with Zeus, Selene became the mother of three daughters: Pandia, the Goddess of Brightness, Ersa, the Goddess of Dew, and Nemea, the Mountain Goddess. There is also another myth that Pan, the god of shepherds and flocks seduced Selene and gave her the gift of a white horse.

Diana (Selene) and Endymion, by Jérôme-Martin Langlois (1779-1838), French Neoclassical painter

Diane et Endymion by Émile Louis Foubert

Endymion and Selene 1650s by Filippo Lauri (1623-1694), Italian Baroque Era Painter

Endymion and Selene, (1713) by Sebastiano Ricci (1659 –1734) Italian painter, Chiswick House, England

Selene and Endymion by Edward John Poynter, English painter (1836-1919), Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester


“Luna” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

“Selene.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene - Goddess of the Moon.” The White Goddess. 2015. The White Goddess. 20 Sep 2012

“Selene.” Greek Mythology. 2015. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2015. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Loggia. 2008. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Encyclopedia Mythica. 2015. MCMXCV-MMIX Encyclopedia Mythica. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Theoi. 2015. Theoi. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Greek Myth Index. 2007. Myth Index. 20 Sep 2015

 “Selene” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.



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