In 1842, The US brig Somers, commanded by Alexander Slidell Mackenzie was the site of what may have been the only planned mutiny in the US Navy’s history. The repercussions of the Somers Affair had long felt effects, and inspired Herman Melville’s Billy Budd.
For the 100th anniversary of Marcel Proust’s death, Joshua Landy explores the existential questions posed by “In Search of Lost Time” to show how Proust’s novel connects to our contemporary lives.
Over the last few decades “life-writing” started to be used as an umbrella term for an increasingly eclectic range of literary forms and invested with a new level of cultural importance.
There is little doubt that “Narnia” has effectively entered the English language and that references to a “wardrobe” or “wardrobe door” have been given additional meanings by C. S. Lewis: any reference to it requires no explanation simply because everyone knows.
One week before the 2022 US midterm elections, President Joseph Biden delivered a prime-time address at Union Station in Washington, DC. Biden suggested that something foundational, fundamental, was at stake. He reminded listeners of the definition of democracy.
Some of the most acclaimed films to come out of the horror mini-boom of the past decade mix history and horror in disconcerting ways. Of course, these are not the first scary movies or stories do this. But when, and how, did horror first get historical?
George Orwell served for five years in the 1920s as an officer in the Imperial Police in Burma, at that time part of the British Raj. He was to write about the Empire as an unjustifiable despotism. Mahatma Gandhi did more than anyone else to bring about the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the first step in the dismantling of the Empire. Orwell should have seen Gandhi as a comrade in arms, a fellow anti-imperialist, even a hero. Instead he speaks of Gandhi with suspicion, hostility, irritation, and ” sort of aesthetic distaste.” Why?
Where do we go to mourn the dead? A graveyard? A photograph album? A Facebook page? The very intangibility of death makes us yearn for a physical space to locate grief—a space we might return to. For many Victorians, mourning took place in notebooks. This was certainly the case for the future poet laureate, Alfred Tennyson.
To help put you in the apt mood for Halloween this year, we have created a quiz to test your knowledge on some of Oxford World’s Classics scariest tales. Are you up for the challenge?
Rumi, the thirteenth-century Muslim poet, has become a household name in the last few decades, even becoming the best-selling poet in North America thanks to translations of his work into English. Verses of his poetry are used to begin yoga sessions, religious ceremonies, and weddings, and are ubiquitous throughout social media, in addition to actual […]
Do you know your Austen from your Orwell? Consider yourself a literature whiz? Or do you just love a compelling story opening? Try out this quiz and see if you can match the famous opening line to the story and put your knowledge to the test.
The experience of churchgoing at St Anne’s was undoubtedly shaped by the unconventional situation and layout of the place of worship, but in ways that are now hard to recover. Religious experience, like any other, is embodied experience that unfolds in particular spaces and physical conditions. St Anne’s parishioners may have considered the unorthodox nature of their worship space an unhappy accident of history, or they may just as readily have imbued it with special symbolic significance, making it an important focus of their collective identity.
In this OUPblog, Lena Cowen Orlin, author of the “detailed and dazzling” ‘The Private Life of William Shakespeare’ presents a compelling case that Shakespeare designed his own funerary monument: a memorial less about death than about a life of accomplishment.
In this OUPblog, Lena Cowen Orlin, author of the “detailed and dazzling” ‘The Private Life of William Shakespeare’ explores why Shakespeare left Anne Hathaway his “second-best” bed – and what this tells us about their relationship.
How does the formal originality of Jacob’s Room, its dark tenor, fit into the arc of Woolf’s career? I found unexpected and illuminating answers to this question in an all-Beethoven concert at Carnegie Hall.
In this OUPblog post, Lena Cowen Orlin, author of the “detailed and dazzling” ‘The Private Life of William Shakespeare’ asks: just when was Shakespeare’s birthday?