Friendship in Shakespeare | OUPblog

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears … In Shakespeare’s England, the term “friend” could be used to express a wide range of interpersonal relations. A friend could be anything from a neighbour, a lover, or fellow countryman, to a family member or the close personal acquaintance we understand as a “friend” today. Much like […]

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Valuing our ecological futures | OUPblog

Most people care about their potential futures. But there’s a threat to some of these possible futures. In 2016, globally we experienced the hottest consecutive year on record since 2000, with 2017 looking to break the record again. At the current rate of warming climates, along with other environmental concerns, living on the Earth will […]

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Which Celtic goddess are you? | OUPblog

Although most people have heard of the Celts, very little is known about their customs and beliefs. Unlike the Ancient Greeks and Romans, few records of their stories exist. However, the surviving stories have played an important role in literary history—influencing writers like J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis. New to Celtic mythology? Jump in by […]

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A very British realignment | OUPblog

Over the first two years of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, several commentators noted fascinating parallels with an iconic fictional account of a Labour leadership. First written as a novel by journalist and future Labour MP Chris Mullin in 1982, A Very British Coup depicts the surprise election of a radical left-wing Labour […]

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The life and work of Angela Carter [timeline] | OUPblog

Award-winning author Angela Carter is widely viewed as one of the great modern English writers. Known for her use of magic realism and picaresque prose, Carter’s writing style reflected the world around her, capturing 1960s counterculture and second wave feminism. The timeline below, created from The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, highlights key moments […]

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Barth, the Menardian | OUPblog

For the better part of half a century, John Barth was synonymous with what was the last self-conscious attempt at constructing a universal aesthetic movement speaking for all of humanity but recognizing only its bourgeois, white constituent. Much like Virginia Woolf once could claim that “on or about December, 1910, human character changed,” Barth would […]

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The Iliad and The Trojan War [excerpt] | OUPblog

The Iliad tells the story of Achilles’ anger, but also encompasses, within its narrow focus, the whole of the Trojan War. The title promises “a poem about Ilium” (i.e. Troy), and the poem lives up to that description. The first books recapitulate the origins and early stages of the Trojan War. The quarrel over Briseïs […]

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Travelling with Shakespeare | OUPblog

William Shakespeare is celebrated as one of the greatest Englishmen who has ever lived and his presence in modern Britain is immense. His contributions to the English language are extraordinary, helping not only to standardize the language as a whole but also inspiring terms still used today (a prime example being “swag” derived from “swagger” […]

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The world of Jane Austen [timeline] | OUPblog

Jane Austen was a British author whose six novels quietly revolutionized world literature. She is now considered one of the greatest writers of all time (with frequent comparisons to Shakespeare) and hailed as the first woman to earn inclusion in the established canon of English literature. Despite Austen’s current fame, her life is notable for […]

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