This article provides a context for and an analysis of, the content of Robert Browning's poem Meeting at Night. Browning(1812-1889) published the poem at the time when he was courting his future wife, Elizabeth Barrett. It has been described as the most sensual poem he had written up to that time.
This article describes Constance Penswick Smith campaigned, during the early 20th century, for the revival of an ancient Roman Catholic Church service historically held during Lent. Her mission led to the celebration and honouring of mothers on what is now more known as Mothers Day.
Pancake Day races and tossing the pancake, linked to Shrove Tuesday, are ancient English customs that date back to the fourteenth century and are still observed today. Find out about the origins of Pancake Day races and how to make a foolproof English-style pancake in this article.
A Middle Eastern dish of complex flavours, combining health-promoting butternut squash with sweet apricots and honey, intense and piquant preserved lemon, tomatoes and fragrant spices. Quick and easy to prepare and keeps well in the fridge for up to four days. Serve with herby couscous.
An analysis of ‘Silver’ (1913) by Walter de la Mare. Exquisite visual imagery sparks the senses of the reader by evoking the effect created by the phenomenon of a silver moon in a slumbering rural environment. Particularly noteworthy is the skilful use of alliteration and repetition.
For over 400 years on 5th November, the night sky above England has been lit by fireworks, and the smell of bonfires has lingered in the air. It’s Guy Fawkes night, a.k.a. Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night. Find out the history of the commemoration and how the date is celebrated in the 21st...
A Shropshire lad, a cycle of 63 poems by A.E.Housman, was published in 1896 and became a bestseller,. Set in a half-imagined pastoral Shropshire, the collection is now a modern classic.This article explores the context in which the poems, by a deeply secretive poet, were written.
Explore Bury St Edmunds, a small market town close to Cambridge, and a jewel in the crown of the rural county of Suffolk. Visitors make their way there to visit the magnificent cathedral, see the beautiful municipal gardens in the grounds of the ruined abbey, go shopping and much more.
If you anticipate needing a total knee replacement, learn what recovery from this major procedure was like from someone who elected for surgery some years ago; and about the strategies that she later adopted to delay surgery on her second arthritic knee.
Take a literary tour of the English Lake District—an area long admired for its beautiful landscape. The unspoiled beauty of this walkers' paradise has provided inspiration for some of England’s most loved writers and poets including, most famously, William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.
'The Cold Earth Slept Below' is an example of Shelley's interest in both the sublime and in the Gothic tradition in literature. The poem has parallels with a tragic event in his personal life.
Easter is a fun-filled time for children, as well as the most important festival in the Christian calendar. This article relates the pagan history of some Easter customs, how the focus on eggs at Easter started and continues, and describes some ancient Easter customs.
An analysis of Max Ehrmann's didactic prose poem "Desiderata." The wise advice in these calming lines from 1927 still holds strong in the twenty-first century.
'Come live with me and by my love' by Christopher Marlowe is one of the most loved pastoral poems of all time. This article gives an explanation and contextual analysis of this 16th-century appeal to a sweetheart to join the speaker in a country idyll.
'To My Valentine' by Ogden Nash is a charming, unconventional love poem that casts aside cliches in favour of unexpected comparisons. Elizabeth Barrett Brownings' sonnet is conventionally romantic
Enjoy a snapshot of the opulence and extravagance of a Buddhist Temple in Chinatown. Completed at a cost of S$75 million, and opened in 2007, it is high on the list of must-visit places in Singapore.
Robert Burns is Scotland's National Poet. On the 25th January, his birthday is celebrated by Scots around the world, often at formal dinners that follow a time-honoured format incorporating haggis, the skirl of bagpipes, the swish of kilts, poems, and a wee dram. Find out more in this article.
Analysis of Tennyson’s Ring Out, Wild Bells, a New Year's poem published 1850. The sentiments about the need to let go the past, the unfair inequalities in society,and wishes for a better future for everyone,are still relevant in the twenty-first century.
'Christmas' was written by one of Britain's most loved contemporary poets. It is an evocative poem about Christmas customs and the Christian faith.
A Christmas poem by England's Great Nature Poet, William Wordsworth. The poem is about an old Christmas Eve custom of village musicians visiting homes in the Parish to entertain and offer good wishes
Step out of the MRT station in Singapore's Chinatown and enter a different world. The cosmopolitan city and the modern blocks filled with high-rise offices and apartments will feel a world away.
Analysis of "London Snow" by Robert Bridges, a poem that creates an image of the transformational enchantment of snowfall in London; which at the time the poem was created (1890) was noisy, crowded, and heavily polluted.
A recipe for an ancient Halloween treat. Trick-or-treaters hoping for a gift of candy might be surprised to be given these soul cakes instead. But baking and giving them observes a Medieval Catholic tradition of payment to the poor to pray for the souls of the dead. Find out more in this article.
An analysis of one of England's best-loved evocative, lyric poems, Ode to Autumn; the last poem written by the English Romantic poet Keats before he died at the early age of 26.
This article discusses the context of Yeat’s wistful poem about unrequited love and offers an analysis of the poetic form and techniques in the text
The Dirge by Christina Rossetti is a poem about grief and regret following the death of someone who has led a life too short. It compares the human life cycle with the cycle of the seasons.
A recipe for novice cooks for an easy and economical traditional English casserole dish of succulent pieces of lamb layered with onions and carrots in a rich gravy, topped with sliced potatoes. Comfort food for a chilly day.
This article covers events and relationships that led to the short marriage and scandalous separation from his wife of Lord Byron which led to his consequent self-imposed exile from England
These two beautiful poems are perfect for a funeral service that aims to celebrate the life of the loved one who has passed. They emphasise hope and comfort and suggest that life goes on both for the deceased and the bereaved.
Chickpeas, commonly known as garbanzo beans, are a nutrient-dense, low-fat food—a healthy, budget-friendly substitute for expensive meat. This is a quick, cheap, and tasty recipe for chickpeas in a sauce made from onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, paprika, and a little (optional) meat.
Which plants are essential in a traditional English garden? Roses, hollyhocks, foxgloves, lupins, pinks, and more, with a sprinkling of fruits and vegetables.
Visit the Benedictine Cathedral at Montserrat, set high on the Catalonia mountain after which it is named. There you will find the shrine dedicated to Santa Maria de Montserrat, the Black Virgin
Find out how this writer updated her tired and shabby kitchen with a super-fast, minimum disruption, small budget change of worktops. Quartz counter overlays are the ideal solution for a fast update. They are hygienic, easy to clean and durable. Bonus - no need to change the original tiling.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Newark-on-Trent, a Royalist stronghold besieged three times during English Civil Wars (1642-1651), a delightful small market town with a wealth of buildings of historic interest, and home to England's Civil War Centre.
Venice is amazing, unique and wonderful, but can be very expensive. This article gives lots of tips about how to have a long weekend visit from the UK reasonably economically.
Grantham Gingerbread arose through a lucky mistake in 1740 by William Eggleston, a baker in the English town of Grantham. The unique biscuit that he produced has never lost its local popularity. Read about the history and find a recipe in this article.
Does the play Antony and Cleopatra have a subtext that undermines James’s regime, offering a warning about the iniquity of state absolutism? If so, Shakespeare was treading dangerous ground.