W. E. Henley, Long John Silver and Wendy

William Ernest Henley, the author of “Invictus” (see here), was the inspiration for one of the most recognisable characters in Victorian fiction. When his friend Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his first novel, “Treasure Island” (1883), he was inspired by Henley’s appearance to create Long John Silver, the one-legged pirate, one of the main characters.After the… Read More W. E. Henley, Long John Silver and Wendy


In one of the comments to yesterday’s post, containing the quote from Nelson Mandela, our friend Alessandro Gianesini who blogs at Parola di Scrib recalled the poem “Invictus”, Nelson Mandela’s companion during his long imprisonment.Mandela used to read it throughout his 27-year imprisonment during the apartheid period, because of its message of self-masteryThis poem has… Read More Invictus

P. Larkin’s Moon: “Sad Steps”

Groping back to bed after a pissI part thick curtains, and am startled byThe rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness. Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lieUnder a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.There’s something laughable about this, The way the moon dashes through clouds that blowLoosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below) High and preposterous… Read More P. Larkin’s Moon: “Sad Steps”


I’ve just received this message: Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging. It has been an amazing journey: I’ve learnt so much through this blog during these years and I have met a lot of wonderful people. Therefore, I want to… Read More Anniversary

P. Sidney’s Moon: “With how sad steps­­…”

These are the first words of Sonnet 31, which belongs to the collection “Astrophil and Stella” (c. 1582) by Sir Philip Sidney, begins. This is the first major sonnet sequence written in English, which tells the story of Astrophil and his hopeless passion for Stella.Sidney actually is reflecting on his unrequited love for Penelope Devereux… Read More P. Sidney’s Moon: “With how sad steps­­…”