Thomas Mann Writes to Agnes E. Meyer

The need for command over your language so as to be polite, precise and also pertinent ..

The Intermediate Period

The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham had a complicated relationship with her mother, Agnes Meyer. When confronted with a line at the movies, Graham wrote, her mother would go up to the box office and announce: “I am Mrs. Eugene Meyer of The Washington Postso she could jump the queue. “As the years went on, my mother seemed to have a more and more difficult time emotionally. She became increasingly engrossed in her friendships with the series of men in her life… ” One of Meyer’s most intense relationships was with Thomas Mann, who later wrote to his biographer Donald Prater that he felt, “an almost uncontrollable desire to give this woman tyrannizing me a piece of my mind.” In 1943, he did:

“I, who am agitated by everything, who need peace and quiet as I do my daily bread,  who can neither accomplish anything nor even…

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Character Study: Mycroft Holmes

Scotch Glasses and Burrowers

[As posted on 13/01/2012]

“He calls you the Iceman.”

Mycroft Holmes is one of the most complex characters in Sherlock, possibly more so than even his brother.  During Series One, the audience learns very little about Mycroft, save that he, according to Sherlock, “is the British Government (when he’s not too busy being the British Secret Services or the CIA on a freelance basis)” and that according to him, he and Sherlock have a “difficult relationship.”  However, while the first episode of Series Two does everything in its power to confirm Sherlock’s assessment, it calls into question Mycroft’s – as the impression is given that perhaps their relationship is not so much difficult as it is incredibly complex.

Even after this episode, there are several questions yet to be answered about Mycroft’s character, and what is known (as well as what can be inferred from what is known) could take…

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‘Margery of Quether’ (1891) and A Book of Ghosts (1904) by Sabine Baring-Gould

The Birth of The Prince of Darkness

Mystery and Imagination


‘Margery of Quether’ is Sabine Baring-Gould’s unusual vampire story. Published in 1891 in a collection also containing four non-supernatural tales, it tells the story of a very uncommon romance that blossoms between a young Dartmoor squire and a seventeenth-century witch who has been cursed with eternal life – but not eternal youth.

illus1          illus2

A Book of Ghosts is also included in this ebook. Published in 1904, it collects almost all of the many ghost stories composed by Baring-Gould in the second half of the nineteenth century for the periodical press. These tales were produced as part of an immensely prolific career, encompassing not just fiction, but topography, hagiography, antiquarian research and several well-known hymns (among them ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’).

‘Margery of Quether’ and A Book of Ghosts [Kindle]

‘Margery of Quether’ and A Book of Ghosts [Epub]

‘Margery of Quether’ and A Book of Ghosts [PDF]

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25 Shows: The Little Lulu Show

my favourite show as a kid!

Life Behind The Scenes


it’s about:
Lulu Moppett is like any other kid who gets into a little mischief every now and then with her band of friends. She may get into trouble with her antics; but she always has the best of intentions tackling any situation.

my earliest history with the show:
It was on Cartoon Network back when they had decent series in the roster. This is another show I loved watching when I was a kid. It starts right when I get home from school. After a tiring day, I turn the TV on, sit back, and relax. It was a routine I stuck with well into early high school. I loved it.

why it sticks:
The Little Lulu Show is one of those cartoons that is not too “young” and not too “adult.” Through the stories, it is remarkable how the writers…

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Wallander: The Man Who Smiled (2010)

how could i have been so ignorant!

Thinking about books


Well, here we go with Wallander: The Man Who Smiled (2010) which was published as Mannen som log by Henning Mankell, the fourth in the series of novels now adapted by Yellow Bird. Those of you who have read the previous reviews will understand my sentiments when I report the first few minutes of this episode are not auspicious. Once we’ve passed by the prologue which past experience tells us is a murder, we join a depressed Kurt Wallander (Kenneth Branagh) walking along the seashore. Perhaps not unnaturally, he’s still a bit upset about the last episode in which it was necessary for him to shoot the right-wing killer in the head. He’s taken a life and, for him, that means passing over an intellectual and emotional red line. The result is a desire to torture himself. As a film director, Kenneth Branagh should really…

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Season 4 – Episode 3 / The Final Problem


Long buried secrets finally emerge as someone has been playing a very long game indeed. Sherlock and John face their greatest ever challenge. Is the game finally over?

According to the news that was the final episode. As any other fan, I still do not believe. I was still crying at the end of one and a half hour. That day and the following days I watched over and over and over again. I wish it was a ten-hour episode. 

Episode Score:


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Leslie Howard’s Hamlet

beautiful article, thank you for the links ..

Inafferrabile Leslie Howard

In one of my previous posts, Leslie Howard’s Hamlet Praised, I reproduced a review published in The Lewiston Daily Sun of November 17, 1936.

Here I give you the links to other documents related to Leslie Howard’s Hamlet. I think these documents are worth reading; Leslie Howard’s production deserves more attention than it generally receives, being often and quite hastily dismissed as a failure. It wasn’t. The production was favourably reviewed in Boston and Philadelphia, and after the “limited engagement” at the Imperial Theatre (though the production was flourishing at the box-office, Leslie was annoyed with the unhappy situation and closed the play in December 1936), the long tour around the United States was a great success.

Just a note, to point out–quite ironically, if you allow me–that one of the most severe judgements (a venomous one, though mitigated in a subsequent article) was expressed by John Mason Brown, the same critic who, in an article published…

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Percy Bysshe Shelley – I Fear Thy Kisses…

Im only now beginning to appreciate poetry and I feel there is more meaning in those lines than I can ever fathom!

Byron's muse

1782-88. Paul Sandby - Music by Moonlight1782-88. Paul Sandby – Music by Moonlight

‘I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden;
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burden thine.

I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion;
Thou needest not fear mine;
Innocent is the heart’s devotion
With which I worship thine.’

P.S. Shelley is mentioned in one episode of Darling Buds of May, when Primrose falls in love with Roger, a Liverpool lad. When the two met, Primrose was sitting outdoors and reading Shelley’s poems out loud, and Roger dared to say that Shelley is ‘soft’. How very rude! Shelley is by far my favourite poet of Romanticism, despite the fact that I’ve named my blog after Byron. I’m not a big fan of the show though, but my mum is, and she had to tease me about Shelley. Ma comforted Primrose at the end, telling her ‘You’ll…

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