Maisie Williams

English actress Margaret Constance “Maisie” Williams was born 15 April 1997 in Bristol, UK. She is nicknamed “Maisie” after the character from the comic strip The Perishers. Maisie is the youngest of four children; her three older siblings are James, Beth, and Ted. Born to Hilary Pitt (now Frances) a former university course administrator, she grew up in Clutton, Somerset. She attended Clutton Primary School and Norton Hill School in Midsomer Norton, before moving to Bath Dance College to study Performing Arts.

She made her professional acting debut as Arya Stark of Winterfell in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones in 2011, for which she won the EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, the Portal Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television and Best Young Actor, and the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. In 2016, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Williams has also had a recurring role in Doctor Who as Ashildr in 2015. She made her feature film debut in the mystery The Falling (2014), for which she won the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Young Performer of the Year.

Tales from the Perilous Realm by JRR Tolkien

Having read Lord of he Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillian, Beren and Luthien, Children of Hurin, The Fall of Gondolin and Beowulf by JRR Tolkien i have decided to read Tales from the Perilous Realm also by -JRR Tolkien. It contains a series of fantastical adventure stories and poems which are all set in the mythical realm of Middle Earth.

The first story Roverandum tells the story of a dog named Rover who annoys a wizard named Artexerxes and is shrunk to a miniature size he tries to have the spell lifted and return to his normal size and go home
Along the waY he has many exciting adventures and journeys to many fantastical and dangerous places meeting many weird and wonderful folk including Psalmathos the Sand Sorcerer, Mew the Gull, The Man-in-the-moon and his Moon dog and Uin the Whale.

The next story Farmer Giles of Ham tells of the Heroic and Brave deeds of Farmer Giles of Ham (Ægidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo) and his Dog Garm Who face many perils including confronting a rampaging giant. After hearing of his brave deeds Augustus Bonifacius King of the midland realm summons him to confront the dragon Chrysophylax which has been terrorizing the Midland Realm. So Farmer Giles obtains a magical sword Sword called Claudimordax (Tail biter) which belonged to a former knight Bellomarius and sets off after Chrysophylax.

The third part contains The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book by J.R.R. Tolkien and contains 16 songs, rhymes and poems featuring Tom Bombadil’s encounters with Goldberry, the River-woman’s beautiful daughter , Old Man Willow, the Badger-folk, the ghostly Barrowwights, The Man in the Moon,, a lovely princess, Stone trolls, dwarves, and legendary beasts including Oliphaunts, Fastitocalon and Dragons.

The fourth story Smith of Wooten Major is a magical and enchanting story which features A young boy named Smith who lives in the village of Wootten Major. Every twenty-four years Wootten Major hosts a massive celebration feast called The Feast of Good Children to which Twenty-four children are invited. The feast ends with an extraordinary Great Cake and As per tradition, a trinket is placed inside. So Alf the cooks apprentice finds a mysterious star in the kitchen and puts this in the cake. He then learns that This star allows whoever finds it to enter the magical faerie realm of Fay and have many adventures in the Faerie Realm.

The sixth story Leaf by Niggle features an artist, named Niggle, who paints an amazing fantasy landscape featuring a great Tree with a forest and mountains in the distance investing each and every leaf of his tree with obsessive attention to detail, making every leaf uniquely beautiful. Niggle ends up combining his other artworks, onto the main canvas. However there are many important chores and duties which prevent Niggle from ever finishing his painting.

Being kind hearted, Niggle also assists his next door neighbour, Parish, who is lame and has a sick wife and genuinely needs help. Then Niggle goes on a long trip where he ends up performing menial labour each day. Meanwhile Niggle’s painting lays abandoned, and starts to deteriorate except for the one perfect leaf of the story’s title, which is preserved and exhibited in the local museum. Eventually, Niggle is Reunited with his old neighbour, Parish and they find themselves going to a place which looks eerily familiar….

Gaston Leroux

Best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera, The French journalist and author of detective fiction, Gaston Leroux passed away 15 April 1927. He was born on 6 May 1868 in Paris and went to school in Normandy before later studying law in Paris, graduating in 1889. He inherited millions of francs and lived wildly until he nearly reached bankruptcy. Subsequently after calming down, he began working as a court reporter and theater critic for L’Écho de Paris in 1890. However his most important journalism came when he began working as an international correspondent for the Paris newspaper Le Matin. In 1905, he was present at, and covered, the Russian Revolution. Another case he was present at involved the investigation and in-depth coverage of the former Paris Opera (presently housing the Paris Ballet). Then In 1907 He suddenly left Journalism and began writing fiction. he and his writing patner Arthur Bernède formed their own film company, Société des Cinéromans to publish novels simultaneously and turn them into films.

He first wrote a mystery novel entitled Le mystère de la chambre jaune (1908; The Mystery of the Yellow Room), starring the amateur detective Joseph Rouletabille, He was a very prolific author and went on to write many more novels about the adventures of Joseph Rouletabille, including Le parfum de la dame en noir (The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Rouletabille chez le Tsar, Rouletabille à la guerre (Rouletabille at War), Les étranges noces de Rouletabille (The Strange Wedding of Rouletabille. Rouletabille chez Krupp, Le crime de Rouletabille (1921), Rouletabille chez les Bohémiens, Le petit marchand de romme de terre frites, Un homme dans la nuit, La double vie de Théophraste Longuet, The Phantom of the Opera, Le roi mystère, L’homme qui a vu le diable, Le fauteuil hanté, La reine de Sabbat, Balaoo, Le dîner des bustes, La hache d’or, L’ épouse du soleil, Première aventures de chéri-Bibi, La colonne infernale, Confitou, L’ homme qui revient de loin, Le capitaine Hyx – La bataille invisible, Le coeur cambriolé, Le sept de trèfle, La poupée sanglante – La machine à assassiner, Le Noël du petit Vincent-Vincent, Not’olympe, Les ténébreuses: La fin d’un monde & du sang sur la Néva.

His most famous work The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, 1910), has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name, including a 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical and Joel Schumacher’s subsequent film adaptation of the musical starring Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver & Jennifer Ellison. The Musical still remains popular to this day and you can still see it in London, New York, Las Vegas and Budapest. His legacy lives on and his contribution to French detective fiction is considered a parallel to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the United Kingdom and Edgar Allan Poe in the United States.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was published in 14 April 1939 and won the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize and was cited prominently when he won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries on their journey to find jobs, land, dignity and a future.

One of the son’s Tom Joad is paroled from McAlester prison for homicide an returning home near Sallisaw, Oklahoma, he meets An old friend named Casy and they find his childhood farm home, deserted. Disconcerted and confused, An old neighbor, Muley Graves, informs them that they are at Uncle John Joad’s home nearby because the banks have evicted all the farmers.

Tom finds his family at Uncle Joad’s after their farm is repossessed and learns that they are planning to seek work in California. Although leaving Oklahoma would be breaking parole, Tom decides it is worth the risk.Traveling west on Route 66, the Joad family find the road crowded with other “Okie” migrants. Sheltering In makeshift camps. On the way Granpa and Granma die and both Noah (the eldest Joad son) and Connie Rivers (the husband of the pregnant Joad daughter, Rose of Sharon) split from the family. Led by Ma, the remaining members realize they can only continue, as nothing is left for them in Oklahoma.

On Reaching California, they find that The big corporate farmers are exploiting the workers and smaller farmers are suffering from collapsing prices. Weedpatch Camp, one of the clean, utility-supplied camps operated by the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency, offers better conditions, but does not have enough resources to care for all the needy families. As a Federal facility, the camp protects the migrants from harassment by California deputies. Casy then creates a Labour union to protect the workers The remaining Joads work as strikebreakers in a peach orchard where Casy is involved in a strike that eventually turns violent. When Tom Joad witnesses Casy’s fatal beating, he kills the attacker and flees as a fugitive. The Joads later leave the orchard for a cotton farm, where Tom is at risk of arrest for the homicide. As if this isn’t bad enough Rose of Sharon’s baby is stillborn, then the Joads’ dwelling is flooded leading to yet more hardship. The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes due to its historical context and enduring legacy. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940.

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall

Laura Marshall’s debut novel, FRIEND REQUEST, was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for both the Bath Novel award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2016. Her second novel THREE LITTLE LIES is a slow burning mystery which begins in 2005 and features 17 year old Ellen who meets and falls under the spell of a glamorous newcomer, named Sasha North. However As Ellen is welcomed into Sasha’s family, she doesn’t see the darkness that lies beneath their musical, bohemian lifestyle. Then At a New Year’s Eve party, events come to a dramatic head, resulting in a court case (in which Ellen is a key witness) which means family life at the Corner House will never be the same again.

Fast forward to 2018: Now 30, Ellen and Sasha are still entwined in each other’s lives and sharing a flat in London. Then Sasha suddenly disappears, Ellen fears the worst. She has gone missing like this before and the police won’t take it seriously, but long-buried events in their shared past mean that Ellen has good reason to be frightened – not only for Sasha, but also for herself. So Ellen sets out to find out the truth about what really happened on New Year’s Eve twelve years ago, however someone else knows Ellen is looking and they don’t want her finding out. This puts Ellen in terrible danger, and forces her to confront not only the past, but to question how well she really knows her best friend.

Bishop Thomas Percy

Bishop Thomas Percy was born 13 April 1729 in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, the son of Arthur Lowe Percy a grocer and farmer at Shifnal who sent Thomas to Christ Church, Oxford in 1746 following an education firstly at Bridgnorth Grammar School followed by nearby Adams’ Grammar School in Newport, Shropshire. He graduated in 1750 and proceeded M.A. in 1753. In the latter year he was appointed to the vicarage of Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, and three years later was instituted to the rectory of Wilby in the same county, benefices which he retained until 1782. In 1759 he married Anne, daughter of Barton Gutterridge.

He was ordained Bishop of Dromore, County Down, Ireland, and was also Chaplain to George III. Percy’s greatest contribution is considered to be his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765). Dr Percy’s first work, ‘Hao Kiou Choaan, or The Pleasing History’, was published in 1761. This is a heavily revised and annotated version of a manuscript translation of the Haoqiu zhuan (好逑傳), and is the first full publication in English of a Chinese novel. The following year, he published a two-volume collection of sinological essays (mostly translations) entitled ‘Miscellaneous Pieces Relating to the Chinese.’ In 1763, he published Five Pieces of Runic Poetry, translated from the Icelandic. The same year, he also edited the Earl of Surrey’s poems with an essay on early blank verse, translated the Song of Solomon, and published a key to the New Testament. His Northern Antiquities (1770) is a translation from the French of Paul Henri Mallet. His edition of the ‘Household Book’ of the Earl of Northumberland (1770) (The Regulations and Establishment of the Household of Henry Algernon Percy, the Fifth Earl of Northumberland, at his Castles of Wresill and Lekinfield in Yorkshire. Begun anno domini M.DXII) is of the greatest value for the illustrations of domestic life in England at that period.

In the 1760s, he obtained a manuscript of ballads (the Percy Folio) from a source in Northumberland. He had in mind the idea of writing a history of the Percy family of the peerage (the Dukes of Northumberland), and he had sought materials of local interest. He had sought out old tales from near Alnwick, the ancestral home of the Northumberland Percy family, and he had come across many ballad tales. In 1763, Percy, aiming for the market that Ossian had opened for “ancient poetry” (see James MacPherson), published Five Pieces of Runic Poetry from Icelandic, which he translated and “improved.” Percy was a friend of Samuel Johnson, Joseph and Thomas Warton, and James Boswell. In 1764, Dr Johnson and others encouraged Percy to preserve the poetry he was finding at home. Percy therefore took the ballad material he had from his folio and began searching for more ballads, in particular. He wanted to collect material from the border areas, near Scotland. In 1765, he published the Reliques to great success. Appointed a chaplain to the king in 1769, Percy was formally admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge that year, and received a doctorate of divinity from Cambridge in 1770.

Bishop Percy’s House

Still not having secured an adequate living, Thomas Percy continued with his project of commemorating the Alnwick area, and so he composed his own ballad poem on Warkworth Castle, then a ruin, which the Dukes of Northumberland controlled and which the Duchess of Northumberland favored for its sublime views. Combining the vogue for the “Churchyard Poets” and the ballad vogue that he himself had set in motion, Thomas Percy wrote The Hermit of Warkworth in 1771. Samuel Johnson famously composed three ex tempore parodies of this verse in the 1780s. When an admirer too often told Johnson of the beautiful “simplicity” of the ballad verse form, Johnson pointed out that the line between simplicity and simple mindedness is narrow: just remove the sense.

The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry set the stage not only for Robert Burns, but also for Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads. The book is based on an old manuscript collection of poetry, which Percy claimed to have rescued in Humphrey Pitt’s house at Shifnal, Shropshire, “from the hands of the housemaid who was about to light the fire with it.” The manuscript was edited in its complete form by JW Hales and FJ Furnivall in 1867-1868. This manuscript provides the core of the work but many other ballads were found and included, some by Percy’s friends Johnson, William Shenstone, Thomas Warton, and some from a similar collection made by Samuel Pepys. Percy “improved” 35 of the 46 ballads he took from the Folio. In the case of The Beggar’s daughter of Bednal Green (Bethnal Green), he added the historical character of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Evesham. In this version the ballad became so popular that it was used in two plays, an anonymous novel, operas by Thomas Arne and Geoffrey Bush, and Carl Loewe’s ballad “Der Bettlers Tochter von Bednall Green”. A fuller account of the history of the ballad can be found in “The Green” by A. J. Robinson and D. H. B. Chesshyre. Percy sadly passed away on 30 September 1811. however his work was partly responsible for the ballad revival in English poetry that was a significant part of the Romantic movement.

Tom Clancy

Best known for writing exciting and technically detailed espionage and military thrillers set during and after the Cold War, the American Novellist and Historian Thomas Leo “Tom” Clancy, Jr. Was born April 12, 1947. Clancy’s literary career began in 1982 when he started writing The Hunt for Red October which became immensely popular and was adapted for film starring Sean Connery. The novels Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991), have been turned into commercially successful films with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Chris Pine and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character Jack Ryan, while his second most famous character, John Clark, has been played by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber.

Clancy also wrote several nonfiction books about various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces And branded several lines of books and video games with his name that are written by other authors, following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy’s works. His other interests included sport and In 1993, Clancy joined a group of investors that included Peter Angelos and bought the Baltimore Orioles from Eli Jacobs and also reached an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Vikings however he abandoned the deal due to financial commitments elsewhere. French video game manufacturer Ubisoft has also used Clancy’s name in conjunction with video games and related products such as movies and books. So far Seventeen of his novels have been bestsellers and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. His name was also used on movie scripts written by ghost writers, non-fiction books on military subjects and video games. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and Vice Chairman of their Community Activities and Public Affairs committees. Sadly though Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness but his novels remain popular.

All but two of Clancy’s solely written novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark,These being The Cold War epic Red Storm Rising and The first NetForce novel which was adapted as a 1999 TV movie starring Scott Bakula and Joanna Going. The first Op-Center novel was released to coincide with a 1995 NBC television mini-series of the same name (Tom Clancy’s Op-Center published in 1995) starring Harry Hamlin. With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger (2003), Clancy introduced Jack Ryan’s son and two nephews as main characters; these characters continued in his last four novels, Dead or Alive (2010), Locked On (2011), Threat Vector (2012), and Command Authority (2013).