Saturday, 11 September 2021


“On this day … 20 years (September 10th) ago, 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights. 2,606 people went to sleep in preparation for work in the morning. 343 firefighters went to sleep in preparation for their morning shift. 60 police officers went to sleep in preparation for morning patrol. 8 paramedics went to sleep in preparation for the morning shift. None of them saw past 10:00 am Sept 11, 2001. In one single moment life may never be the same. As you live and enjoy the breaths you take today and tonight before you go to sleep in preparation for your life tomorrow, kiss the ones you love, snuggle a little tighter, and never take one second of your life for granted.”

Thursday, 9 September 2021

If you are in the mood for a "they don't make movies like that anymore" movie, meaning soapy melodrama with enough glamorous glow to keep you from thinking too hard, then "The Last Letter From Your Lover" might do the trick. Read here.

Monday, 6 September 2021


When I go to Afghanistan, I realize I've been spared, due to a random genetic lottery, by being born to people who had the means to get out. Every time I go to Afghanistan I am haunted by that.

Khaled Hosseini

Wednesday, 1 September 2021


"Departing summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling."
William Wordsworth

Sunday, 22 August 2021


The Peaky Blinders aren’t common criminals. They are a family - a clan. They have their own style and manners, and their own code of honor. They call themselves Peaky Blinders, a gang that is dangerous but respected. They play against the law, but that might just be the only way to survive in these cruel times.  Read here.

Sunday, 1 August 2021


“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”                                                                                                                           Wallace Stevens

Monday, 26 July 2021


BBC One's A Suitable Boy, based on Vikram Seth's bestseller, explores post-partition India's cultural norms as well as combining satire with romance.
When writing it, former Oxford English Literature student Seth was inspired by Jane Austen, particularly Elizabeth Bennet, and he portrayed similar qualities in Lata: charm, quick wit and independence (not to mention their overbearing mothers).
Here you can read the novel online.

"An immensely enjoyable novel which describes with unhurried pace the panorama of India ... Everything appears familiar to us, yet in fact it is newly minted by a master artist."
Hindustan Times

Thursday, 1 July 2021


"Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit."
Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, 26 June 2021


"A really remarkable picture of the reality, as well as the prosperity, of northern industrial life, and an interesting examination of changing social conscience".
Joanna Trollope

Elizabeth Gaskell's compassionate, richly dramatic novel features one of the most original and fully-rounded female characters in Victorian fiction, Margaret Hale. It shows how, forced to move from the country to an industrial northern town, she develops a passionate sense of social justice, and a turbulent relationship with mill-owner John Thornton. North and South depicts a young woman discovering herself, in a nuanced portrayal of what divides people, and what brings them together.  Read here.

Friday, 25 June 2021


George Eliot, pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, was an English Victorian novelist who developed the method of psychological analysis characteristic of modern fiction. Her major works include Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876).

Middlemarch is considered to be George Eliot’s masterpiece. The realist work is a study of every class of society in the town of Middlemarch—from the landed gentry and clergy to the manufacturers and professional men, farmers, and labourers. The focus, however, is on the thwarted idealism of its two principal characters, Dorothea Brooke and Tertius Lydgate, both of whom marry disastrously.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Thursday, 17 June 2021


Wilfred Owen immortalized mustard gas in his indictment against warfare, "Dulce et Decorum Est." Written in 1917 while at Craiglockart, and published posthumously in 1920, the poem details what is, perhaps, the most memorable written account of a mustard gas attack.

The Latin title is from Horace (1st century BC)  and it means “it is sweet and proper”. This is followed by the phrase pro patria mori, or “to die for one’s country” in English.

The poem is known for its horrific imagery and condemnation of war. It combines two sonnets and is formed by 28 lines. Read here.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021



Bertha Mason is a complex presence in Jane Eyre. She impedes Jane’s happiness, but she also catalyses the growth of Jane’s self-understanding. The mystery surrounding Bertha establishes suspense and terror to the plot and the atmosphere. Further, Bertha serves as a reminder of Rochester’s youthful libertinism (=the behavior of a libertine, a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality, one leading a dissolute life).

Yet Bertha can be interpreted as a symbol. Some critics have read her as a statement about the way Britain feared and psychologically “locked away” the other cultures it encountered at the height of its imperialism. Others have seen her as a symbolic representation of the “trapped” Victorian wife, who is expected never to travel or work outside the house and becomes ever more frenzied as she finds no outlet for her frustration and anxiety. Within the story, then, Bertha’s insanity could serve as a warning to Jane of what complete surrender to Rochester could bring about.