“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.”
On August 10, 1847, Emily Dickinson graduated from Amherst Academy, where she studied English and classical literature, Latin, botany, geology, history, “mental philosophy,” and arithmetic.
The study of “mental philosophy” according to the research I completed today is the branch of philosophy that studies the idea of existence, being, becoming and reality. The nature of the mind and the relationship and connection with the body flows from these thoughts.
We recognized that William Shakespeare was an extraordinary writer and poet, but he was also politically astute. King James I was known to be a theatre enthusiast.
What better way to welcome King James but with the play, Macbeth, which was set in King James’s native Scotland and included the King’s real-life ancestor, Banquo (Lord Banquo, the Thane of Lochaber), who was positioned as a good and just man destined to have monarchs in his bloodline.
The three witches was a brilliant touch which would have appealed to King James because of his interest in witchcraft. In fact, he considered himself an expert in this area of study having written a book on this subject in 1597.
Dr. Simon Forman was at the first public performance of Macbeth. Most likely, King James had a private performance with is thought to have occurred in August or December 1606.
Can you imagine the crowd when the witches appeared chanting for the first time in public: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Those lines still have the power to ignite our imagination and draw us deeper into the narrative.
On this day in Canadian history, the Dominion of Canada was created. With the British North America Act, the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada were united as the Dominion of Canada, and the province of Canada was separated into Quebec and Ontario.
The British North America Act conferred on the new dominion a constitution, with the executive government vested in Queen Victoria and her successors.
While we celebrate specific dates, we cannot forget all the steps or the people involved in the discussions and negotiations that led up to this event.
Those stories are preserved in our archives for future generations.
“As the custodian of our distant past and recent history, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a key resource for all Canadians who wish to gain a better understanding of who they are, individually and collectively. LAC acquires, processes, preserves and provides access to our documentary heritage and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.” Library and Archives Canada
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Elizabeth Barrett Browning
What we call Life is a condition of the soul. And the soul must improve in happiness and wisdom, except by its own fault. These tears in our eyes, these faintings of the flesh, will not hinder such improvement.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
On this day in history, we are marking three remarkable events. Without question, February 18th was a stellar day for readers.
February 18, 1678 , John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress” was published in Holborn, London, by Nathaniel Ponder, known to be a bookseller and publisher of nonconformist works. The Pilgrim’s Progress was written during John Bunyan’s 12 years of imprisonment.
On February 18, 1885, Mark Twain published the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in the United States. As a sequel to “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” which was published in 1876, the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has come to be regarded by many as “the Great American Novel.”
Toni Morrison, original name Chloe Anthony Wofford, was born February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. I have added “Beloved,” written in 1987, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, to my reading for 2022.
Reading taken from Penguin Classics: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Translated by Anthony Briggs Part 1 Chapter 25 p 114
The #WarAndPeace2022 Readalong is moving through Part II and will see us in Part III on February 20, 2022. I am totally involved in the narrative, due in part to the realism that is demonstrated in the battle sequences and strategies.
I have read that Leo Tolstoy worked tirelessly to bring us a complete understanding of the complex historical milieu of War and Peace. He drew on historical events, immersed himself in history books on the Napoleonic Wars and visited the battlefields.
Remember it is never too late to join the #WarAndPeace2022 Readalong. You are always welcome to add to the conversation.
2022 is the year of Leo Tolstoy. I am involved in a global community reading War and Peace, which began on January 5, 2022 and will end on the stroke of midnight December 31, 2022.
Chapter 1 welcomes us into the drawing room of the elegant Anna Pavlovna Scherer, maid of honour and confidante of the Empress Maria Fyodorovna. It is an evening in July 1805. There are rumours of war and talk of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The detailed descriptions and the emotional conversations that swirled around the room captured my entire attention. I felt a sense of anticipation when Pierre, aka Pyotr Kirillovich Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of old Count Bezuchov walked into the room.
Have you ever wondered what books were in Leo Tolstoy’s library? When not engaged in writing his epic novels, what books did he chose to read? Have I read the same books as Leo Tolstoy did over a century ago? These were the questions that I reflect upon in my January WarAndPeace2022 update.
You are invited guests on the #WarAndPeace2022 adventure. If you are unable to join the Readalong, you are most welcome to follow the journey via our blogs and podcasts.
Liz Humphreys has brought together an invaluable collection of resources that will add depth to our reading experience. Books, blog posts, and reading schedules are available and easily accessible at the following links.
On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published the pamphlet “Common Sense” advocating American independence.
“When I was teaching children I began every day writing this on the blackboard: “Do to others what you would like them to do to you”, telling them how much better the world would be if everybody lived by this rule.”
Thomas Paine, Common Sense
Forty seven pages advocating independence from Great Britain was an immediate success for those who lived in the Thirteen Colonies. Published anonymously, Thomas Paine managed to keep his name out of the independence controversy for three months.
Thomas Paine never profited from Common Sense. But he did change the world.