Classic Writers and Everyday Life in the Historical UK

I always find it interesting how through reading fiction written by authors at about the time that the story is set, or shortly afterwards, you can get authentic background detail about various aspects of everyday life. This varies as to the social position of the author, of course, and how far he or she is … Continue reading Classic Writers and Everyday Life in the Historical UK

US English and its Continued Use of Forms from Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century UK English

It is an interesting fact that US English retains some of the words and expressions of seventeenth and eighteenth century English, which are wrongly thought of as ‘American English’. For instance, there is use of the word that is commonly now spelt as ‘aint’, but can be found as ‘in’t’ and ‘an’t’.  That was once … Continue reading US English and its Continued Use of Forms from Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century UK English

The Peterloo Massacre and its Bicentenary on 16 August 2019

On 16  August 2019, it will be the bicentenary of the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819. In this dismal episode in British history, the part time militia of the Manchester Yeomanry Cavalry charged  a peaceful crowd of 60,000. This gathering was in fact  a large part of the then population of Lancashire,  many of whom … Continue reading The Peterloo Massacre and its Bicentenary on 16 August 2019

The Peterloo Massacre and its Bicentenary on 16 August 2019

On 16  August 2019, it will be the bicentenary of the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819. In this dismal episode in British history, the part time militia of the Manchester Yeomanry Cavalry charged  a peaceful crowd of 60,000. This gathering was in fact  a large part of the then population of Lancashire,  many of whom … Continue reading The Peterloo Massacre and its Bicentenary on 16 August 2019

Germinal: Émile Zola’s Masterpiece

Germinal is Émile Zola’s masterpiece, and I am fairly typical in thinking (and I have only read it in translation) that it contains his most brilliant writing, with exceptionally evocative passages of lyrical strength, and brilliant word pictures. It depicts a miner’s strike – with unsparing realism and remarkable sympathy. When  my daughter asked me … Continue reading Germinal: Émile Zola’s Masterpiece