John Keats by Nicholas Roe [EPUB]
22 September 2016, 10:51
2014 | EPUB | 3.37MB
This landmark biography of celebrated Romantic poet John Keats explodes entrenched conceptions of him as a delicate, overly sensitive, tragic figure. Instead, Nicholas Roe reveals the real flesh-and-blood poet: a passionate man driven by ambition but prey to doubt, suspicion, and jealousy; sure of his vocation while bitterly resentful of the obstacles that blighted his career; devoured by sexual desire and frustration; and in thrall to alcohol and opium. Through unparalleled original research, Roe arrives at a fascinating reassessment of Keats's entire life, from his early years at Keats's Livery Stables through his harrowing battle with tuberculosis and death at age 25. Zeroing in on crucial turning points, Roe finds in the locations of Keats's poems new keys to the nature of his imaginative quest.
Roe is the first biographer to provide a full and fresh account of Keats's childhood in the City of London and how it shaped the would-be poet. The mysterious early death of Keats's father, his mother's too-swift remarriage, living in the shadow of the notorious madhouse Bedlam—all these affected Keats far more than has been previously understood. The author also sheds light on Keats's doomed passion for Fanny Brawne, his circle of brilliant friends, hitherto unknown City relatives, and much more. Filled with revelations and daring to ask new questions, this book now stands as the definitive volume on one of the most beloved poets of the English language.
The View From the Corner Shop: The Diary of a Yorkshire Shop Assistant in Wartime [EPUB]
22 September 2016, 05:59
2016 | EPUB | 5.66MB
Kathleen Hey spent the war years helping her sister and brother-in-law run a grocery shop in the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. From July 1941 to July 1946 she kept a diary for the Mass-Observation project, recording the thoughts and concerns of the people who used the shop. What makes Kathleen's account such a vivid and compelling read is the immediacy of her writing. People were pulling together on the surface ('Bert has painted the V-sign on the shop door…', she writes) but there are plenty of tensions underneath. The shortage of food and the extreme difficulty of obtaining it is a constant thread, which dominates conversation in the town, more so even than the danger of bombardment and the war itself.
Sometimes events take a comic turn. A lack of onions provokes outrage among her customers, and Kathleen writes, 'I believe they think we have secret onion orgies at night and use them all up.' The Brooke Bond tea rep complains that tea need not be rationed at all if supply ships were not filled with 'useless goods' such as Corn Flakes, and there is a long-running saga about the non-arrival of Smedley's peas.
Among the chorus of voices she brings us, Kathleen herself shines through as a strong and engaging woman who refuses to give in to doubts or misery and who maintains her keen sense of humour even under the most trying conditions. A vibrant addition to our records of the Second World War, the power of her diary lies in its juxtaposition of the everyday and the extraordinary, the homely and the universal, small town life and the wartime upheavals of a nation.
Distance and Memory by Peter Davidson [EPUB]
22 September 2016, 05:38
2013 | EPUB | 0.25MB
This is a book about remoteness: a memoir of places observed in solitude, of the texture of life through the quiet course of the seasons in the far north of Scotland. It is a book grounded in the singularity of one place - a house in northern Aberdeenshire - and threaded through with an unshowy commitment to the lost and the forgotten. In these painterly essays Davidson reflects on art, place, history and landscape. Distance and Memory is his testament to the cold, clear beauty of the north.