powersympathy

Sex, lies and moral conduct in the first American novel

“The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature” (1789) was not just William Hill Brown‘s first novel, but it is also widely considered to be the very first American novel to be published. Printed in Boston in 1789, this work of narrative focused on quite a tormented and scandalous plot. Despite being quite different from what we are…

ingoldsby

An introduction to Thomas Ingoldsby and his gothic legends

Think Gothic literature: what names come to mind? Perhaps M.R. James, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stroker, Robert Louis Stevenson, or even some of the first authors in the genre, including Ann Radcliffe? Surely, Thomas Ingoldsby is not your instant choice, nor is the true name behind his pen signature, Richard Harris Barham. His father (also…

quest

A spiritual quest and a Sapphire Song – Interview with author Todd Erick Pedersen

When Todd Erick Pedersen‘s work has been put to my attention, I could not help but research the reason behind its creation and started developing an interest in his novel and poems, all very interesting and somewhat standing out from the overcrowded fantasy genre to which is sort of belongs. Despite having been written before the…

guyfawkes

In quintum Novembris: how Guy Fawkes inspired the literary world

Every year Britain “remembers, remembers the fifth of November“, as the old English verse chants. It is no wonder that more than 400 years after the facts took place, history and tradition of a very distant celebration are perceived in a different way as we adapt to time and tend, as a society, to modify the…

words

Learning an Eastern language: 6 good reasons to give it a try

When it comes to learning a foreign language, Europe’s perspective is definitely less than far-sighted. English, French, German and Spanish are the most studied languages in Europe, and it makes sense, considering trade with neighbouring countries and a long-standing tradition which sees these languages expand their dominance throughout the world in past centuries. For the…

babette

On Babette’s Feast: food, history and other interpretations

Originally published in an English newspaper in 1950, “Babette’s Feast” would have its Danish version released within the next two years, finding its way into a properly released book in 1958, as part of a stories collection. The main plot is set in the Norwegian port town of Berlevåg, where a former chef of the…