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The Thomas Hardy Society Journal Reviews Connell Guides

By Emanuela Ettorre  It is a challenging task for any scholar to write an introductory study to a novel by Thomas Hardy, but Cedric Watts’s and Phillip Mallett’s Connell Guides to, respectively, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd are effective instruments not only for the students venturing into Hardy’s territory for the first time, but also for…

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Jon Connell #2

I have just finished Trollope’s Framley Parsonage, a book I have read at least twice before. It may not be the greatest of 19th century novels but it is one of the most enjoyable – and one of my favourites. It is full of romance but it’s also full of humour: I’d forgotten quite how…

Jon Connell

Jon Connell #1

This is the first in what I hope will be a regular series of blog posts – I will try and write about once a week. There’s a lot happening at Connell Guides, so I can tell you about that. But I will write about literary matters, too, and, since I spend a lot of…

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Post-exam anxieties – a message from the expert

So, exams are over – relief! Or is it? This period – between sitting exams and collecting results – is difficult for all students. Lots of students are feeling just as stressed and worried as they were before the exams, and sometimes more so. We spoke with Clinical Psychologist, Dr Alex Fowke, who specialises in treating people with…

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The origin of Mark Twain’s name

Before “Mark Twain” he was “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass”. And before “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass” he was “Sieur Louis de Conte”, “John Snook” and even “Josh”. Samuel Clemens, America’s classic satirist, used a litany of pseudonyms before settling on the name we know him by today. In the latest issue of the Mark Twain Journal Kevin MacDonnell…

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Did Shakespeare really retire to Stratford?

Shakespeare abandoned London and retired to Stratford in about 1610. That’s what historians and Shakespeare experts have been telling us for 300 years. But is it true? Writing in the Times Literary Supplement, the Shakespeare scholar Katherine Duncan-Jones suggests that it is not. In a dramatic overturning of received wisdom about the Bard, she supplies…

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Bennett’s choice of verse

Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s favourite dramatists. On last National Poetry day (October 2nd 2014) he wrote in the Telegraph about the poets who have inspired him. Favourites included Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman, Louis MacNeice, Philip Larkin and W.H. Auden. 80 year-old Bennett celebrated in particular Auden’s political changes of heart over the course…