Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ben Jonson: Renaissance Playwright, Renaissance Man

Ben Jonson was an early modern playwright whose popularity rivalled that of Shakespeare or Marlowe. He spent multiple stints in prison, wrote masques in which the Queen of England and Prince of Wales performed, and was crowned England’s first poet … Continue reading

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Listen: Francis Leneghan on Beowulf

The title of this collaborative project, ‘The Great Writers Project’, naturally brings up several questions, most importantly of which is, ‘What is a Writer?’ In his talk on the Old English poem Beowulf, Francis Leneghan discusses that very concern. The … Continue reading

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Releasing and reusing Creative Commons material

In this post I’m going to briefly cover some of the basics of Creative Commons (CC) licensing and some of the pitfalls to avoid when doing it. I work in Oxford University Computing Services, in a number of little projects … Continue reading

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Aphra Behn: A “Life dedicated to Pleasure and Poetry”

Aphra Behn was a bold, salacious, and pioneering individual. If Frances Burney made women writers respectable, it was Aphra Behn who put them on the map. Young Woman In 1640 Aphra Behn was born Eaffrey Johnson of Canterbury, the daughter of … Continue reading

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You Read My Mind

I just wanted to draw your attention to some fascinating research on the act of reading… Neuroscientists have discovered that reading stimulates several different parts of the brain, not just our language-processing centres. When we read metaphors such as … Continue reading

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Watch and Listen: David Fallon on William Blake

In this podcast (video/audio), Dr David Fallon introduces the poetry, painting, and engraving of William Blake (1757-1827), focusing on the imaginative and visionary aspects of Blake’s work and his desire to break the public’s ‘mind-forg’d manacles’.  Blake is best known … Continue reading

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Watch and Listen: Faith Binckes on Katherine Mansfield

In this podcast (video/audio), Dr Faith Binckes explains why modernist short story writer and critic Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) is a great writer, highlighting her involvement with the 1911-1913 periodical Rhythm, edited by her second husband John Middleton Murry. Katherine Mansfield … Continue reading

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Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I thought I’d share two of my favourite websites dedicated texts written by women: ‘Woolf Online’: This website provides contextual materials and free online access to a selection of Woolf’s texts. There are some … Continue reading

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John Webster: A Darker Playwright for Renaissance England

In the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, a young boy seen feeding a live mouse to a cat identifies himself as John Webster.  When Will Shakespeare asks the boy what he thought of Titus Andronicus, Webster replies, “I like it … Continue reading

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Olive Schreiner: A Great Podcast

Last week I finally found the time to have a look at the Great Writers Inspire podcasts. There’s such a varied selection, from famous writers such as Dickens and Shakespeare, to lesser known authors such as Stephen Duck, J.M. Coetzee, … Continue reading

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