Coming Out in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
Liz Lightfoot

OutspokenIn 2007, I underwent a crisis of sexual identity. I was married, with two young children, when I became attracted to another woman. The hostility I encountered at the Anglican church I was attending made me curious about other people's experiences. It seemed to me imperative that stories of being gay in the Church be heard, especially in the context of the current maelstrom within the Anglican community in which the Church has been encouraged to undergo a 'listening process'. This book is the result.

Outspoken presents the narratives of eleven people who have come out in the Anglican Church in New Zealand, including two ordained church members. The author has written a general introduction, plus an introduction to each individual story and reflections on it. The book closes with a Postscript that discusses truth and the Church; community, belonging and rejection; ideas about hell and damnation; the theology of denial; and the implications and ramifications of the 'Don't ask, don't tell' approach.

The author notes that 'People's lives are sacred ground and the area of sexuality is one where people are arguably at their most vulnerable.' She hopes that this research will contribute to community building within the Anglican Church.

Wild Heart

Wild Heart
The Possibility of Wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand

Edited by Mick Abbott and Richard Reeve

This book searches for an understanding of ‘the wild’, of what makes wilderness such an important part of our psyche. What could wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand become, and, consequently, what might we its people also become?

Contributors: Mick Abbott, Allison Ballance, Shaun Barnett, James Beattie, Mike Boyes, Tom Brooking, Stephen Espiner, Gerard Hindmarsh, Julian Kuzma, Robin McNeill, Cilla McQueen, Les Molloy, Harvey Perkins, Kerry Popplewell, Richard Reeve, Jacinta Ruru, Geoff Spearpoint, Brian Turner, Pip Wells, Jon West, Kerry Wray.

Images of pristine forests, mountain ranges, untameable rivers and empty expanses of coastline are the key attraction in how we promote Aotearoa New Zealand internationally: ‘100% Pure’ no less. Such wildness is at this nation’s psychological and physical core.

Seabird Genius..

Seabird Genius
The story of L.E. Richdale, the Royal Albatross and the
Yellow-eyed Penguin

The first biography of Lance Richdale, who achieved international fame as the father of Otago’s albatross colony from 1936 and for his research on the behaviour of the Yellow-eyed Penguin – Time magazine dubbed him ‘The Dr Kinsey of the penguin world’ – and the sooty shearwater, or muttonbird.

Richdale grew up in Wanganui, took a tertiary course in agriculture in New South Wales, and returned to New Zealand to teach mainly in rural schools in the North Island for several years, eventually taking up a position with the Otago Education Board in 1928 as an inspiring itinerant agricultural instructor and nature study teacher.

Neville Peat’s biography searches the traces left by this shy and obsessed man for some answers to two questions: why? and what drove him? Richdale’s legacy is a nature tourism industry in Dunedin worth $100 million a year, and the longest-running seabird population study in the world.

Richdale never gave up his day job and incredibly in the weekends, holidays and evenings undertook major, meticulous and time-consuming research on penguins, albatrosses and several petrel species. His study of the muttonbird was achieved during prolonged solo camps on tiny Whero Island in stormy Foveaux Strait, where the wind blew straight from Antarctica.

This book is for....

Dunedin Soundings
Place and Performance
Edited by Dan Bendrups and Graeme Downes

The 'Dunedin Sound' of the 1980s is a phenomenon known throughout the world. But what does Dunedin music-making sound like in the 21st century? Dunedin Soundings features writing from musicians, composers and scholar/practitioners. They discuss genres as diverse as brass band, opera, classical, Indonesian gamelan, jazz, rock and more, the intricacies of the composition and lyric-writing processes, digital remixing, and scoring for film and TV. Together, they reveal the ways in which these supposedly separate music fields have the potential to inform and stimulate each other.

This book is for everyone with a serious passion and wide-ranging intellectual curiosity for music, and anyone wanting an insider's glimpse into music-making in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The theoretical idea behind the book is that performance and composition practices constitute a process of research. The writers are practitioners who are recognised nationally and internationally for their contributions to New Zealand music across genres, including composer Anthony Ritchie, the Verlaines' Graeme Downes and Emmy-award nominee Trevor Coleman.

The story of......

The story of Natanahira Waruwarutu, as recorded by Thomas Green
Te Maire Tau- I whanau au ki Kaiapoi

Natanahira Waruwarutu was a child at the time of the capture of Kaiapoi Pa by Te Rauparaha's Ngati Toa warriors in 1832. The early years of his life, recounted here in the original Maori text and an accompanying translation, saw great change in the Maori communities of Waitaha (Canterbury) and Akaora.

The story in this book is not a Ngai Tahu 'Grand narrative'. As Te Maire Tau says, Maori history simply does not work like that. Rather, it is one narrative by a survivor of the period 'that recollects the reality of what he saw as a child; on this basis, it is a superb example of an oral tradition.
Otako leaders set aside Moeraki, further south, for Kaiapoi refugees and Waruwarutu moved between the two places until he died in 1895. Before his death, he passed on to scribe Thomas Green, himself a Ngai Tahu elder, a substantial body of material that now defines modern understanding of the traditional history of Ngai Tahu. This manuscript was part of that material and, as Te Maire Tau describes in his introduction, has a history of its own.

The author has included a chapter on the historical context of Waruwarutu manuscript and annotations for both Maori and English texts. A further chapter presents in Maori with English translations a text recorded by scribe Charles Creed that supplements Waruwarutu's account of his induction into the Kaiapoi whare purakau (house of learning). It is one of the few manuscripts that provides a glimpse into a world that no longer exists.

Top 10 books written for teenagers

Melvin Burgess's top 10 books written for teenagers

From supernatural big-hitters Pullman and Meyer to thrillers from Kevin Brooks and unforgettable imagery from David Almond, the author of Junk lists his favourite teen fiction

The author Melvin Burgess published his first book, The Cry of the Wolf, in 1990, but is best known for Junk, his 1996 novel dealing with the tricky and controversial subject of heroin addiction in teenagers. His latest novel, Nicholas Dane, a punchy modern-day adaptation of Oliver Twist, is out now.

"Fiction for teenagers is a comparatively new affair. When I was in my teens no one wrote any at all. You had to go straight from children's books to adult books without a pause. Even when I started writing in the 1990s, what was called teen fiction was really only for the first two or three years at high school at the most, with one or two honourable exceptions.
"Today, teenage fiction still covers a multitude of sins. It can range from books really written for children, which publishers call 'teen' for sales reasons, through books aimed at high-school students up to the age of 14 or so, to books for people nearing the end of their school careers. So here's a list of the top 10 writers who write (or wrote) especially for people of at least 14. It contains the most influential, the most popular, and in some cases simply the best."
1. The Bumblebee Flies Anyway by Robert Cormier

Cormier was writing quality fiction for teenagers way back in the 1970s, which makes him officially the granddaddy of us all. He conquered that most difficult of tricks: writing brilliant thrillers with beautiful prose and startling but believable characters. If he was writing for adults, he'd have won every prize going.

2. Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers
Chambers's teen tales were the first that aimed to be really serious literature. His books aren't for everyone – his dialogue, in particular, clanks alarmingly – but these are intellectually and emotionally challenging books that examine the deeper things that affect teenage lives. It's not about the girl next door, or how well you're going to do in the exams. It's about who are you, why you're here – and what are you going to do about it anyway?
3. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is famous for its theological mirroring of Paradise Lost, but Pullman's reputation stands on his storytelling. Setting up the heavenly hordes as an enemy of life got him into trouble, but the imaginative range and wealth of characters, especially in this first book, is wonderful.
4. Junk by Melvin Burgess
My novel Junk was the first truly teenage book to attract a wide readership and deal with serious social issues upfront and honestly. There was a tremendous hue and cry when it first came out. At the time, no one really knew about teenage fiction, and the press were appalled and fascinated that a book talking knowledgeably about drugs and addiction should be awarded a children's book prize. Is it any good? I can't say, since I wrote it myself.
5. Skellig by David Almond

Almond's books contain stories of great beauty and hope – magical realism for young people, written in graceful, accessible prose. There are images in them you will never forget, and Skellig is one of his finest.
6. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Blackman passes the test on all counts: first black woman to sell more than a million books; an OBE; and a huge following. Plus, she manages about the best plotting of anyone writing for young people today. The trilogy of Noughts and Crosses books are thrillers, but with a sharp eye for social, personal and racial politics. No one does it better.
7. Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks

Brooks is another thriller writer, the natural successor to Cormier. His books don't touch on society in the way Cormier's do, but they are beautifully written and stylish. His young male protagonists are at once touchingly innocent and knowing, quirky and very sexy.

8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This book, published for teenagers, became a bestseller with all ages. Like many great teen books, it is the voice of the narrator that makes it work so well. Christopher is autistic, and when he feels things aren't as they seem, he has to find out about them in his own way. Partly because we know more than him, partly because he is so brave and determined, the story makes a fascinating, funny and memorable read.
9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Meyer is a game-changer. For years, publishers have been looking for mass-market teen fiction, and she's the first to have broken through. There's nothing new here: Meyer is no stylist; her characters are predictable; this is really just good old-fashioned romance with a supernatural twist. But if your brain is mashed from too much studying, curl up with a Twilight and she'll do the rest.
10. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Rosoff's debut spawned a host of copycat efforts, but it remains ahead of the game. Daisy's voice is the key: you'll rarely meet a character with so many facets, so lucidly written. Some find Rosoff's mucking around with punctuation an irritant, but the book will be read for years to come.

Popular books for teens

Popular books for teens:
Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. 1952.
Friend, Natasha. Lush. 2006.
Garden, Nancy. Annie on My Mind. 1982
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. 1954.
Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. 2003.
Hartinger, Brent. Geography Club. 2003.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. 1850.
Heller, Joseph. Catch-22: A Novel. 1961.
Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. 1967.
Hopkins, Ellen. Crank. 2004.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. 1946.
Jukes, Mavis. The Guy Book : An Owner's Manual for Teens. 2002.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 1962.
King, Stephen. Cujo. 1981.
Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. 1988.
Myracle, Lauren. Ttyl. 2004.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. 1945.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. 1949.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. 1971.
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. 1996.

List of Best Selling Books: Preteen Stories (for 9 to 12 years)
Christopher Paul Curtis: Bud, Not Buddy;
Paula Danziger: The Cat Ate My Gymsuit; The Divorce Express; The Pistachio Prescription; Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?;
Madeleine L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time and sequels;
Caroline Keene: Nancy Drew series;
Ann Martin: Babysitters Club series;
LM Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables and sequels;
Francine Pascal: Sweet Valley High series;
Katherine Paterson: Bridge to Terabithia; The Great Gilly Hopkins; Park's Quest;
Mildred Taylor: Song of the Trees; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; The Friendship; Let the Circle Be Unbroken;
Cynthia Voigt: Homecoming; Dicey's Song;
Laura Ingalls Wilder: Little House in the Big Woods and sequels.

Popular authors of books

Most popular books and authors in 2012
Clare County Library holds a bookstock of over a quarter million items which are available for borrowing at its fifteen branch libraries throughout the county. 25,827 new books were added to stock in 2002. 433,046 items were loaned by the library service in 2002, an increase of 4% over the previous year.

Books written by Irish authors featured prominently among the most popular adult fiction books borrowed in 2002, as was the situation in 2001. Two of Marian Keyes’s books, Last Chance Saloon and Rachel’s Holiday, appeared in the top ten lists in both 2001 and 2002. In the Forest by Edna O’Brien, based on the tragic murders in East Clare in 1994, was the 6th most popular adult book borrowed from County Clare libraries last year. John Grisham was again the only male author to have made the top ten listing.

Although the heavy-weights Danielle Steel, Josephine Cox, and Catherine Cookson topped the list of the most popular author in 2002, it must be remembered that these authors have a huge number of books in print compared to the Irish authors who made the list such as Cathy Kelly (7 titles), Sheila O’Flanagan (8 titles) and Patricia Scanlan (12 titles).

For non-fiction books, those with an Irish, and especially a Clare, interest again topped the list. The Official Theory Test for Learner Drivers topped the list and Ger Loughnane’s book beat Roy Keane’s in the rankings. Authors who write on topics such as health (both mental and physical), cookery and gardening topped the list of the most borrowed authors in the non-fiction category last year. Darina Allen was the second most borrowed author in this category, perhaps proving that there really is no such thing as bad publicity!

FICTION – most popular authors
1. Danielle Steel
2. Josephine Cox
3. Catherine Cookson
4. James Patterson
5. John Grisham
6. Cathy Kelly*
7. Sheila O’Flanagan*
8. Patricia Scanlan*
9. Patricia Cornwell
10. Barbara Taylor Bradford

The most popular children’s books remain consistent for the second year in a row. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were as popular as ever in 2002, with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in first place. This was followed by Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in second place and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in third place. Jacqueline Wilson’s book, The Illustrated Mum was the fourth most popular read among Clare children with a return to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for fifth place. Artemis Fowl was the only book by an Irish author appearing in the top ten listing.

FICTION – most popular titles
1. Dreaming of a Stranger Sheila O’Flanagan*
2 Francesca’s Party Patricia Scanlan*
3. The Summons John Grisham
4. Jinnie Josephine Cox
5. Marble Gardens Deirdre Purcell*
6. In the Forest Edna O’Brien*
7. My Sister’s Child Lyn Andrews
8. The Woman Who Left Josephine Cox
9. Last Chance Saloon Marian Keyes*
10. Rachel’s Holiday Marian Keyes*

Jacqueline Wilson was the most popular author for children. Books by this author were issued over 11,000 times from library branches in 2002.

Terry Deary, the author of the Horrible Histories series of books, also featured in the top issuing authors for children. Titles include The Vicious Vikings, The Savage Stone Age, The Slimy Stuarts and The Rotten Romans to name but four of these unusual history books “with the nasty bits left in.” The books are particularly appealing to children with their mixture of comic strips, jokes, lots of illustrations and most importantly, interesting and accurate history presented in a novel way.

NON-FICTION – most popular titles
1. Official Theory Test for Learner Drivers Dept. of Env. & Local Govt.*
2. It’s a Long Way from Penny Apples Bill Cullen*
3. McCarthy’s Bar Pete McCarthy
4. Blueprint Home Plans*
5. Raising the Banner: Official Biography of Ger Loughnane Ger Loughnane*
6. The Clare Anthology Kieran Sheedy*
7. Keane: the Autobiography Roy Keane*
8. Guinness World Records
9. Detox Yourself Jane Scrivner
10. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking Allen Carr*

NON-FICTION – most popular authors
1. Miriam Stoppard – women’s health, childcare
2. Darina Allen* - cookery
3. David Pelzer - abusive childhood
4. Bill Bryson – humurous travel
5. Gael Lindenfield – self-esteem, self-help
6. D.G. Hessayon - gardening
7. Delia Smith - cookery
8. John Gray – self-help, relationships
9. Tony Humphreys* – psychology, education
10. Patrick Holford – alternative health

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Biography, poems and picture
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge Samuel Taylor - Biography, picture and poems

This page is dedicated to this great poet together with a biography, picture
and most famous poems
Concise Biography and Picture
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Nationality - English
Lifespan - 1772 - 1834
Family - Father was John Coleridge, a vicar and Schoolmaster
Education - Cambridge
Career - Poet, critic and philosopher
Famous work - Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Desire a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Where true Love burns Desire is Love's pure flame;
It is the reflex of our earthly frame,
That takes its meaning from the nobler part,
And but translates the language of the heart.

Rupert Brooke

Concise Biography and Picture
Rupert Brooke
Nationality - English
Lifespan - 1887 - 1915
Family - Father was House Master at Rugby School
Education - Cambridge University
Career - Poet and Officer in Royal Navy
First Published in 1909
The Dead a poem by Rupert Brooke

The Dead=Rupert Brooke
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain,
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.

Robert Bridges

Concise Biography/
Robert Seymour Bridges (1844-1930) was the Poet Laureate of England for nearly two decades, yet "his writing suffered the singular and ironic misfortune of winning broad public favor at the expense of understanding." Unfortunately, he became known for his lesser work; in an attempt to correct that injustice, this page showcases some of his major short poems. Bridges was also the man most responsible for bringing the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins to the attention of the world (after, of course, Hopkins himself).
Robert Bridges
Nationality - English
Nationality - 1844 - 1930
Family - Married Monica Waterhouse and had thre children
Education - Eton and Oxford University
Career - Poet and Physician

For beauty being the best of all we know
poem by Robert Bridges
For beauty being the best of all we know
Sums up the unsearchable and secret aims
Of nature, and on joys whose earthly names
Were never told can form and sense bestow;
And man has sped his instinct to outgo
The step of science; and against her shames
Imagination stakes out heavenly claims,
Building a tower above the head of woe.
Nor is there fairer work for beauty found
Than that she win in nature her release
From all the woes that in the world abound;
Nay with his sorrow may his love increase,
If from man's greater need beauty redound,
And claim his tears for homage of his peace.

Bronte Anne

Anne Bronte=Biography, poems and picture
This page is dedicated to this great poet together with a biography, picture
and most famous poems
Concise Biography and Picture
Nationality - English
Lifespan - 1820 - 1849
Family - Parents Patrick and Maria Bronte
Education - Tutored at home and Haworth parsonage
Career - Poet and novelist
Famous Works by Anne Bronte - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
Anne Bronte

Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day
a poem by Anne Bronte

by: Anne Bronte (1820-1849)

Y soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.
The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky

I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare - born April 1564; baptised April 26, 1564; died April 23, 1616 (O.S.), May 3, 1616 (N.S.)—has a reputation as the greatest writer the English language has ever known. Indeed, the English Renaissance has often been called "the age of Shakespeare". As a playwright, he performed the rare feat of excelling in both tragedy and comedy. He also wrote 154 sonnets, two narrative poems, and a handful of shorter poems; several of his plays feature songs that are among the finest lyric poems in English. These arguably feature amongst the most brilliant pieces of English literature ever written, because of Shakespeare's ability to rise beyond the narrative and describe the innermost and the most profound aspects of human nature.
Shakespeare wrote his works between 1588 and 1613, although the exact dates and chronology of the plays attributed to him remain relatively uncertain in many instances.
Longer poems:
Venus and Adonis
The Rape of Lucrece
The Passionate Pilgrim
The Phoenix and the Turtle
A Funeral Elegy by W.S. (?). For a period many believed, on the basis of stylistic evidence researched by Don Foster, that Shakespeare wrote a Funeral Elegy for William Peter. However most scholars, including Foster, now conclude that this evidence was flawed and that Shakespeare did not write the Elegy, which is more likely from the pen of John Ford.

Specialist acting companies and theatres

John Bell's Bell Shakespeare Company in Australia
Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon
Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon
Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah
The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, DC
Shakespeare by the Sea, various companies of this name in Canada and the US

Plays and their categories
Shakespeare's plays first appeared in print as a series of folios and quartos, and scholars, actors and directors continue to study and perform them extensively. They form an established part of the Western canon of literature.

One could categorise his dramatic work as follows:

Romeo and Juliet
King Lear
Titus Andronicus
Julius Caesar
Antony and Cleopatra
Troilus and Cressida
Timon of Athens
The Comedy of Errors
All's Well That Ends Well
As You Like It
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Measure for Measure
The Tempest
Taming of the Shrew
Twelfth Night or What You Will
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Love's Labour's Lost
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The Winter's Tale
The Two Noble Kinsmen
Richard III
Richard II
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry V
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry VIII
King John
Some scholars of Shakespeare break the category of "Comedies" into "Comedies" and "Romances". Plays in the latter category would include Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, Pericles Prince of Tyre, and The Tempest.

Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys (February 23, 1633 - May 26, 1703) was a 17th century English civil servant, famous for his diary. (His surname was then pronounced "Peeps", although some modern relatives with the name pronounce theirs "Pep-iss".) The diary is a fascinating combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.
Pepys was born in London in 1633, the son of a tailor. He was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1655 he married, and in the following year entered the household of his cousin Admiral Edward Montagu.
On January 1, 1660 he started his diary. The same year he became Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board. In May 1669 his diary came to a sudden conclusion, owing to the weak state of Pepys' eyes. His wife died the same year.

In 1672 he was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty, an appointment he held with one interruption of four years at the end of Charles II's reign until the Glorious Revolution when he retired from public life and was later succeeded by his former clerk Josiah Burchett. As well as being one of the most important civil servants of his age, he was a widely cultivated man, taking a learned interest in books, music, the theatre and science. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1665 and later served as President. He died childless in 1703. His contemporary John Evelyn remembered him as "universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things". Pepys' character seems encapsulated in his Latin motto mens cujusque is est quisque, which can be translated as "The Mind is the Man".

His job required that he meet with many people to dispense monies and make contracts. He often laments over how he "lost his labour" having gone to some appointment at a coffee house or tavern, there to discover that the person he was seeking was not within. This was a constant frustration to Pepys.
Periodically he would resolve to cut down on drinking and womanizing and to devote more time to those endeavors where he thought his time should be spent. For example, this entry on New Year's Eve, 1661, "I have newly taken a solemn oath about abstaining from plays and wine..." The following months reveal his lapses to the reader as by February 17 "And here I drank wine upon necessity, being ill for the want of it."
The diary similarly gives a detailed account of Pepys' personal life. He liked wine and plays, and was a womanizer. He also spent a great deal of time evaluating his fortune and his place in the world. He was always curious and often acted on that curiosity, as he acted upon almost all his impulses.

In December 2003, his diary, which was at the time being serialised as a weblog run by Phil Gyford, won an award in The Guardian's Best of British Blogs, in the specialist-blog category.
The diary gives a detailed account of the pattern of Pepys' life. Reading it, one cannot help thinking how very much we must all be alike. His characteristic closing sentence was: "And so to bed."

Peter Cook

Peter Cook

Peter Edward Cook (November 17, 1937 - January 9, 1995) was a British satirist, writer and comedian who is widely regarded as the father of the British satire boom of the 1960s. He is closely associated with an anti-establishment style of comedy that emerged in the late 1950s in the depths of the Cold War.
Shoot forward a few days, and Stu posts an article about Bill Hicks – another comedian I know little about.
Cook was himself 'establishment' educated, at Radley and Pembroke College, Cambridge, and it was at the latter that he first performed and wrote comedy sketches.

On graduation, he wrote professionally for, amongst others, Kenneth Williams, before finding fame in his own right as a star of the satirical stage show, Beyond the Fringe, with Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett and Dudley Moore.
Working with others such as Eleanor Bron, John Bird, and John Fortune, he broadened the scope of television comedy and pushed out the hitherto restricted boundaries of the BBC.

Peter Cook's first regular television spot was on Granada_Television's Braden Beat with Bernard Braden, where he featured perhaps his most enduring comic character, the static, dour, and monotone E. L. Wisty.
With his star firmly in the ascendant he opened The Establishment Club in Soho which allowed him to associate with the big stars of the day. He became a friend and supporter of Australian comedian and actor Barry Humphries, who began his British career at the Establishment Club, and Dudley Moore's acclaimed jazz trio (which included Australian-born drummer Chris Karan) played there regularly for many years in the Sixties.

His comedy partnership with Dudley Moore, led to the popular and critically feted television show Not Only... But Also. Using few props, and with musical interludes performed by Moore, they created a new style of dry absurdist televison which found a place in the mainstream. Here Cook showcased characters like Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling and Pete and Dud. Other memorable sketches include '"Superthunderstingcar", a send-up of the popular Gerry Anderson marionette TV shows and Cook's parody of silent star Greta Garbo.

Although now recognised as one of the classics of TV comedy, the BBC erased most of the videotapes of the first two series. Only fragments of these programs remain, although much of the soundtracks (which were released on record) have survived. Only the final series, most of which was shot on colour film, has survived largely intact.
Both Peter Cook and Dudley Moore acted in films, and Cook worked with Moore in such films as The Wrong Box (1966). Their best work on film was probably the cult comedy Bedazzled (1967), now widely regarded as a classic. Directed by Stanley Donen, it was co-written by Cook and Moore and starred Cook as George Spigot (The Devil) who tempts frustrated short-order cook Stanley Moon (Moore) with the promise of gaining his heart's desire -- the love of the unattainable Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron) -- in exchange for his soul, but repeatedly tricks him in a variety of ways.
UK chart singles:-

"The Ballad Of Spotty Muldoon" (1965)
"Goobye-ee" (1965) with Dudley Moore


The Wrong Box (1966)
Alice in Wonderland (1966)
Bedazzled (1967)
Monte Carlo Or Bust, also called Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (1969)
The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970)
Find the Lady (1976)
The Secret Policeman's Private Parts (1981)
Yellowbeard (1983)
The Princess Bride (1987): The Impwessive Clergyman
Whoops Apocalypse (1988)
Getting It Right (1989)
The Best of Amnesty: Featuring the Stars of Monty Python (1999)

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (August 30, 1797–February 1, 1851) was an English writer who is, perhaps, equally-famously remembered as the wife of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus.

It is published here as a stand-alone volume for the first time.
Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 in London, England, the only daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and the famous liberal philosopher, anarchic journalist and atheist dissenter, William Godwin.
She met Percy Bysshe Shelley, a free-thinker like her father, on June 26, 1814 at her mother's gravestone. They eloped to France a month later, on July 27, with Mary's stepsister, Jane Clairmont. This was the poet's second elopement and, later, second marriage (his first wife, Harriet Westbrook committing suicide in 1816).

At about this time, Mary had probably become quite influenced by the classics which her husband had taken to reading after they returned to London towards the end of the year. But this was also the time that Percy Shelley wrote "Alastor" and "The Spirit of Solitude", in which he counsels aginst the loss of "sweet human love" in exchange for the activism that he himself was to promote and indulge in for much of his life.Percy Shelley is renowned for his deep desire for 'true love' in his life. He was, evidently, more than satisfied with his young bride, exultant that she was "one who can feel poetry and understand philosophy".

During May of 1816, the couple, with Jane (now Claire) Clairmont in tow, took to the Geneva lakeside to meet Lord Byron, with whom Claire had been conducting an affair.

In terms of English literature, it was a to be a halcyon summer. Percy began work on "Hymn To Intellectual Beauty" and "Mont Blanc". Mary, in the meantime, had been inspired to write Frankenstein.

The group had decided to have a ghost-telling contest. Another guest, Dr John Polidori, came up with "The Vampyr", later to become a strong influence on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Mary's story proved to be more successful.

Also, both the Shelley's had read William Beckford's Vathek (a Gothic novel that has been likened to an Arabesque). Can one miss the darkling reflection of the Beckford character's "insolent desire to "penetrate the secrets of heaven" in both "Alastor" ("I have made my bed In charnels and on coffins") and Mary's acclaimed piece ("Who shall perceive the horrors ...as I dabbled among the unhallowed damp of the grave, or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay")?
Following on from a number of Percy's literary and personal ups and downs, the Shelley troupe moved to Lerici, a town close to La Spezia in Italy. There, on July 8, 1822, in the midst of writing a shadowy work called "The Triumph Of Life", the young poet drowned, along with Edward Williams, on a boat trip back from Livorno.

Critics say these works do not begin to approach the power and fame of Frankenstein; The Last Man, a pioneering science fiction novel of the human apocacalypse in the distant future, is, however, sometimes considered her best work.
Mary was tireless in promoting her late husband's work, including editing and annotating unpublished material. But she also found occasions to write a few more novels, including Valperga, The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck and Falkner.

Mary Shelley died on February 1, 1851 in London and was interred at St. Peter's Churchyard in Bournemouth, in the English county of Dorset.

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the comic poem The Hunting of the Snark. He also wrote many short pieces, including Euclid and his Modern Rivals and The Alphabet Cipher.Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832–January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a British author, mathematician, Anglican clergyman, logician, and amateur photographer.
Our site illustrations are from classic Carroll editions and our artist members.
His facility at word play, logic, and fantasy has delighted audiences ranging from the most naïve to the most sophisticated. His works have remained popular since they were published and have influenced not only children's literature, but also a number of major 20th century writers such as James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges.
Allegations of paedophilia
The issue is contentious, with some noting that there is no evidence that Dodgson abused girls, or arguing that child nudes were not uncommon during the era.
Dodgson’s undeniable fondness for children — and especially his photographs of nude or semi-nude girls, and his sketchbooks featuring his own drawings of nude or seminude girls — have led to speculation that he was a paedophile.
The first hints on Dodgson's alleged paedophilia seem to have appeared in 1932, in The Life of Lewis Carroll by Langford Reed. Reed apparently was the first to claim that all of Carroll's female friendships ended when the girls reached puberty, the claim being later caught up by other biographers despite the evidence of the contrary. Before publication of complete Dodgson's diaries in 1953, the view of Dodgson as having no adult life and being preoccupied with children persisted among his biographers, including Florence Becker Lennon (Victoria Through the Looking-Glass (UK title Lewis Carroll), 1945) and the highly influential Alexander Taylor (The White Knight, 1952). After the diaries were published, revealing that many prior notions on Dodgson's life were incorrect, subsequent biographers tended to take an "apologetic" stance, arguing that Dodgson had been a latent deviant.
The issue was rekindled in 1995 with Lewis Carroll, a Biography by Morton Cohen, which deals with the issue much in the line of The White Knight by Alexander Taylor. Cohen writes: “We cannot know to what extent sexual urges lay behind Charles’s preference for drawing and photographing children in the nude. He contended the preference was entirely aesthetic. But given his emotional attachment to children as well as his aesthetic appreciation of their forms, his assertion that his interest was strictly artistic is naive. He probably felt more than he dared acknowledge, even to himself. Certainly he always sought to have another adult present when nude prepubescent modeled for him.” Cohen notes that the children’s mothers were encouraged to be present, and asks if these precautions were the result of Dodgson “insuring himself against slipups.” (p 228–229) Cohen concedes that Dodgson “apparently convinced many of his friends that his attachment to the nude female child form was free of any eroticism,” but adds that “later generations look beneath the surface.” (p229)

Factual material on Dodgson's nude photography is scant. Having taken up photography in 1856, Dodgson recorded brief notice in his diary of his first nude in 1867. Robert Taylor has written that Dodgson’s nude photographs were “limited to eight sessions spread over thirteen years” and are “not the record of a habitual voyeur, pornographer or paedophile, but the response of an overtly sentimental bachelor to the innocent beauty and grace of childhood. Whether this type of photography was Dodgson's way of satisfying or sublimating his sexual desires can never be known and will always remain fruitless speculation.”

Jack the Ripper theories

In 1996 author Richard Wallace published a book titled Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend accusing Lewis Carroll and his colleague Thomas Vere Bayne of being Jack the Ripper. It was largely based upon anagrams Wallace constructed from Carroll's writing. Carroll and Bayne have strong alibis for most of the nights of the Ripper murders, and Wallace's theory has not found support from other scholars. For more information, see the Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend article.

Carroll did show some interest in the Jack the Ripper case, however. A passage in his diary dated August 26, 1891, reports that he spoke that day with an acquaintance of his about his "very ingenious theory about 'Jack the Ripper'". No other information about this theory has been found.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343-1400) was an English author, philosopher, diplomat, and poet, and is best known and remembered as the author of The Canterbury Tales. He is sometimes credited with being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the English language.
Chaucer first appears in the records in 1357, as a member of the household of Elizabeth, countess of Ulster, wife of Lionel, third son of Edward III.
He was a contemporary of Giovanni Boccaccio and Christine de Pizan. Although born as a son of a vintner, he became a page at the court of Edward III of England. He was in the service of first Elizabeth de Burgh, Countess of Ulster, and then Lionel of Antwerp, son of Edward III.
Around 1366 Chaucer married Philippa (de) Roet, a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, and a sister of Katherine Swynford, who later (ca. 1396) became the third wife of Chaucer's friend and patron, John of Gaunt.
He travelled from England to France, Spain, Flanders, and Italy (Genoa and Florence), where he came into contact with medieval continental poetry.
Chaucer wrote poetry as a diversion from his job as Comptroller of the Customs for the port of London, and also translated such important works as The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris (extended by Jean de Meun), and Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius' De consolatione philosophiae. However, while many scholars maintain that Chaucer did indeed translate part of the text of The Romance of the Rose, others claim that this has been effectively disproved. He also wrote the Parlement of Foules, the House of Fame, and Chanticleer and the Fox, the latter based on a story by Marie de France. However, he is best known as the writer of Troilus and Criseyde and of The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories (told by fictional pilgrims on the road to the cathedral at Canterbury) that would help to shape English literature.

After the overthrow of his patron Richard II, Chaucer vanished from the historical record. He is believed to have died of unknown causes on October 25, 1400, and there is speculation that he was murdered by enemies of Richard II. He is buried at Westminster Abbey in London. In 1556 his remains were transferred to a more ornate tomb, making Chaucer the first writer interred in the area now known as Poets' Corner.In the history of English literature, he is considered the introducer of continental accentual-syllabic metre as an alternative to the alliterative Anglo-Saxon metre. He also helped to standardise the southern accent (London area) of the Middle English language.

Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming

Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28, 1908 - August 12, 1964) was a British author, best remembered for the James Bond series of novels.

Born in Mayfair, London, Ian Fleming was the younger brother of the travel writer, Peter Fleming. He was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst military academy, then went to university on the Continent to study languages. He worked as a journalist and stockbroker before the Second World War. On the eve of war he was recruited as personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, Rear-Admiral John Godfrey.
He married Anne Rothermere in 1952 and in August that year his only son, Caspar, was born. While convalescing from his first heart attack in 1962, he wrote a short story about a flying car for Caspar - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ian Fleming died, aged 56, on 12th August 1964 at Sandwich in Kent.

It is believed that in this initial story he based the female character "Vesper Lynd" on real life SOE agent, Christine Granville. As for the inspiration behind James Bond, one of the strongest candidates is said to have been Merlin Minshall, who worked for Fleming as a spy during the Second World War. Another is a fictional character called Duckworth Drew, created by writer and journalist William Le Queux.Besides the twelve novels and nine short stories he wrote featuring James Bond, Fleming is also known for the children's story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Ian Fleming is interred in the Church yard cemetery at the village of Sevenhampton, near Swindon, next to his wife Ann Geraldine Mary Fleming (1913-1981) and son, Caspar Robert Fleming (1952-1975).
In the book The Man Who Was M: The Life of Charles Henry Maxwell Knight by Anthony Masters, ISBN 0-631-13392-5 it is claimed that during the war Fleming conceived the plan that successfully lured Rudolf Hess to fly into captivity in Britain. There's no other source for these claims.
Fleming worked in UK Naval Intelligence during World War II, and was author of a plan — not in the end carried out — for capturing Naval Enigma material: Operation Ruthless.

The typewriter used by Fleming to write his Bond novels is presently in the possession of James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.
Actor Christopher Lee is his cousin. Fleming wanted Lee to play the first Bond film villain, Dr No. (Some sources say Lee was also considered for the role of Bond as well.) Lee later played the title villain in The Man with the Golden Gun.

Children's story
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964)

The Diamond Smugglers (1957)
Thrilling Cities (1963; American editions contain the Bond short story, "007 in New York")
Selected works

James Bond novels
Casino Royale (1953; first U.S. publication title: You Asked for It)
Live and Let Die (1954)
Moonraker (1955; first U.S. publication title: Too Hot to Handle)
Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
From Russia with Love (1957)
Dr. No (1958)
Goldfinger (1959)
For Your Eyes Only (a collection of short stories, 1960)
Thunderball (1961)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
You Only Live Twice (1964)
The Man With The Golden Gun (1965; allegedly finished by Kingsley Amis)
Octopussy and The Living Daylights (a collection of short stories, 1966)
For Your Eyes Only contained the short stories: "From A View to a Kill," "For Your Eyes Only," "Risico," "Quantum of Solace", and "The Hildebrand Rarity." Octopussy and the Living Daylights was initially published with just the two short stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights" as the book title suggests. The 1967 paperback edition saw the title shortened to Octopussy and a third story, "Property of a Lady" added. In the 1990s, the longer version of the book title was restored and beginning with new editions published in 2002, the book includes a fourth short story, "007 in New York."