History, Literature, Quote of the Day, Writing

On the 956th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

William the Conqeror WILLIAM THE FIRST was the first of our kings, Not counting Ethelreds, Egberts and things, And he had himself crowned and anointed and blest In Ten-Sixty-I-Needn’t Tell-You-The-Rest But being a Norman, King William the First By the Saxons he conquered was hated and cursed, And they planned and they plotted far into… Continue reading On the 956th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Animals, Literature, Quote of the Day

“How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

So there I was, yesterday, wandering around my favorite antiques store (real antiques, very little junk--although, on occasion, I'm fond of junk stores too), looking for a mirror to set above my restored oak chest of drawers.  Discovered one.  It's walnut, and in a completely different style, but it works! And I found myself in… Continue reading “How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

History, Literature, Medieval, Romance

On This Day in 1485

On July 31, 1485, William Caxton first printed Sir Thomas Mallory's Morte d'Arthur. Five hundred thirty seven years ago today.  Only seven years before Christopher Columbus voyaged to the New World.. I believe in the importance of history. And so, therefore, it's surely OK to recapitulate a post from a few years ago (even if… Continue reading On This Day in 1485

Culture, Literature, Poetry

Mad, Bad, And Dangerous to Know: “Ghostly Galleons” and “Dark Red Love-Knots”

Well. There I was, noodling around a few hours ago during a hydration break (it’s been in the mid-90s today, and I have three rather large trees to plant), looking for something to write about so I could sit inside, turn on the air conditioner for a bit, and allow the sweat to dry up. … Continue reading Mad, Bad, And Dangerous to Know: “Ghostly Galleons” and “Dark Red Love-Knots”

Literature, Quote of the Day

Oscar Wilde on Suffering

Somehow (I’m still not quite sure how), a recent conversation with a friend turned to the topic of Oscar Wilde.  You know, the guy who said “I can resist anything except temptation,” and “A man’s face is his autobiography.  A woman’s face is her work of fiction.”  That Oscar Wilde. But the quote that my friend… Continue reading Oscar Wilde on Suffering

Biography, Book Review, Literature, Poetry

Not A Book Review: William Blake Verus The World, by John Higgs

I can't review it, because I haven't read it yet.  But I'm charmed by a lengthy excerpt which the author himself has posted on Lapham's Quarterly. It's the story of an unlikely friendship that developed towards the end of Blake's life, and one which reminds me--as do so many biographies and vignettes of eighteenth century… Continue reading Not A Book Review: William Blake Verus The World, by John Higgs

Life, Literature

Thoughts of Abroad, From Home

Oh, to be in England, Now that April’s there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!! Perhaps it’s the fact that I'm still leery of… Continue reading Thoughts of Abroad, From Home

Beauty, Career, Computers, Feminism, History, Literature

The Analytical Engine: “Dad” Edition

“The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.”–Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada Byron (she was the poet’s only legitimate child) was born a little over two-hundred-six years ago, on December 10, 1815.  She was a few weeks shy… Continue reading The Analytical Engine: “Dad” Edition

History, Literature, Quote of the Day, Religion

“Lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon”: The Eve of St. Agnes

Happy Eve of St. Agnes Day!  The sun has come up, the earth is still turning, and life goes on in these United States. Today is, according to legend, the 1718th anniversary of the eve of the martyrdom of St. Agnes of Rome, patron saint of young girls and defender of the chaste.  Brutally murdered… Continue reading “Lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon”: The Eve of St. Agnes

Life, Literature, Loss, Quote of the Day

Two from Tennyson

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier'--Alfred, Lord Tennyson Crimenutely. In my search for a suitable quote of the day for New Year's Eve, I stumbled over a little-known work (at least, I didn't know about it, which makes it little-known in my book) by Alfred, Lord… Continue reading Two from Tennyson