Tuesday, March 25, 2014

22 Strong Female Characters in Literature

The list, care of Buzzfeed.

The First Autobiography Written in English, Ever

It's called Margery Kempe. There's only one book known to exist. It's now digitized.

From a piece in the Guardian...

Kempe lived in Norfolk from around 1373 to 1440. After she had given birth to 14 children, she made a vow to live chastely with her husband, and embarked on pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela, Italy and Germany. Her devotion was expressed through loud cries and roars, which often irritated bystanders, but she became famous as a mystic, and claimed to have conversations with God.

She dictated her life story to a priest, but her autobiography was only known through excerpts printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1501, and by Henry Pepwell, who called her a "devoute ancres", in 1521, until a complete manuscript – thought to be a copy made from the original, possibly under Kempe's supervision – was discovered in a cupboard in the 1930s.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Giver

Grammar's Great Divide - the Oxford Comma

JRR Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf

It's coming. 90 years after it was done.

From a piece in the Guardian...

Tolkien himself called the story "laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination", saying that "the whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real".

Although the author completed his own translation in 1926, he "seems never to have considered its publication", said Christopher Tolkien today, announcing the Tolkien estate's new deal with HarperCollins to publish Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary on 22 May. The book, edited by Christopher Tolkien, will also include the series of lectures Tolkien gave at Oxford about the poem in the 1930s.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014