William Butler Yeats

Irish writer & Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats was Born 13th June in 1865 at Sandymount in County Dublin, Ireland. the family then relocated to the Pollexfen home at Merville, Sligo to stay with her extended family, and Yeats considered the area his childhood and spiritual home. Its landscape became his “country of the heart”. The Butler Yeats family were highly artistic; his brother Jack became an esteemed painter, his sisters Elizabeth and Susan Mary became involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement And Yeats grew up as a member of the former Protestant Ascendancy. In 1867, the family moved to England . At first the Yeats children were educated at home. Where Their mother told them Irish folktales. John provided an erratic education in geography and chemistry, and took William on natural history explorations of the nearby Slough countryside. On 26 January 1877, Yeats entered the Godolphin school,which he attended for four years, and was fascinated by biology and zoology. On 1880 the family returned to Dublin, living at first in the suburbs of Harold’s Cross and later Howth. In October 1881, Yeats resumed his education at Dublin’s Erasmus Smith High School. William also spent a great deal of time at his Father’s studio, and met many of the city’s artists and writers. he also started writing poetry, and, in 1885, the Dublin University Review published Yeats’s first poems, as well as an essay entitled “The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson”.

Between 1884 and 1886, William attended the Metropolitan School of Art (The National College of Art and Design) where He wrote a poem which was heavily influenced by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Yeats’s works drew heavily on Shelley, Edmund Spenser, pre-Raphaelite verse, William Blake, Irish mythology and folklore. In 1891, Yeats published “John Sherman” and “Dhoya”. The family returned to London in 1887. In March 1890 Yeats joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and co-founded the Rhymers’ Club, with Ernest Rhys, a group of London-based poets who met regularly in a Fleet Street tavern to recite their verse. Yeats later renamed them “the Tragic Generation” in his autobiography, and published two anthologies of the Rhymers’ work, in 1892 and 1894. He collaborated with Edwin Ellis on the first complete edition of William Blake’s works, and rediscovered a forgotten poem, “Vala, or, the Four Zoas”.

Yeats also became interested in Emanuale Swedenborg and mysticism, spiritualism, occultism and astrology and became a member of the paranormal research organisation “The Ghost Club”. His mystical interests—also inspired by a study of Hinduism, under the Theosophist Mohini Chatterjee, and the occult and he wrote a fantasy poem which was serialized in the Dublin University Review. His first solo publication was the pamphlet Mosada: A Dramatic Poem (1886), followed by The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (1889). “The Wanderings of Oisin” is based on the lyrics of the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology and was inspired by Sir Samuel Ferguson and the Pre-Raphaelite poets.His other early works, include Poems (1895), The Secret Rose (1897), and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899). In 1885, Yeats was involved in the formation of the Dublin Hermetic Order. And the Dublin Theosophical lodge also opened in conjunction with Brahmin Mohini Chatterjee, who travelled from the Theosophical Society in London to lecture. Yeats attended his first séance and became heavily involved with the Theosophical Society and with hermeticism, particularly with the eclectic Rosicrucianism of the Golden Dawn. He was admitted into the Golden Dawn in March 1890 and took the magical motto Daemon est Deus inversus—translated as Devil is God inverted or A demon is a god reflected. He was involved when Aleister Crowley was sent to repossess Golden Dawn paraphernalia during the “Battle of Blythe Road”. After the Golden Dawn ceased and splintered into various offshoots, Yeats remained with the Stella Matutina until 1921.

In 1889, Yeats met 23 year old heiress Maud Gonne, Gonne admired “The Island of Statues” and she had a lasting effect on Yeats thereafter.In 1891, he visited Gonne in Ireland and proposed marriage, but she rejected him, Yeats proposed to Gonne three more times: in 1899, 1900 and 1901. She refused each proposal, and in 1903, to his horror, married the Irish nationalist Major John MacBride. Yeats then continually derided and demeaned John MacBride both in his letters and his poetry. Then Much to Yeats’ delight Gonne’s marriage to MacBride, was a disaster, then Gonne began to visit Yeats in London. After the birth of her son, Seán MacBride, in 1904, Gonne and MacBride seperated however Yeats’s relationship with Gonne remained unconsummated until 1908? In 1896, Yeats met Lady Gregory through their mutual friend Edward Martyn and became involved with a new generation of younger and emerging Irish authors, including Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, J. M. Synge, Seán O’Casey, and Padraic Colum, and Yeats was one of those responsible for the establishment of the “Irish Literary Revival” movement. Then In 1899, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and George Moore established the Irish Literary Theatre for the purpose of performing Irish and Celtic plays. Working with two Irish brothers with theatrical experience, William and Frank Fay, Yeats’s unpaid yet independently wealthy secretary Annie Horniman, and the leading West End actress Florence Farr, the group established the Irish National Theatre Society. on 27 December 1904 they opened the Abbey Theatre, performing Yeats’s play Cathleen Ní Houlihan and Lady Gregory’s Spreading the News .

In 1902, he helped set up the Dun Emer Press to publish work by writers associated with the Revival. This became the Cuala Press in 1904, and inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1909, Yeats met the American poet Ezra Pound. From 1909 until 1916, the two men wintered in the Stone Cottage at Ashdown Forest, with Pound nominally acting as Yeats’s secretary. However The relationship got off to a rocky start after Pound rearranged Yeats own poetry without permission and published it. Pound was also influenced by Japanese Noh plays which he had obtained from Ernest Fenollosa’s widow. Thea provided Yeats with a model for the aristocratic dramas he intended to write, including At the Hawk’s Well, in 1916. The emergence of a nationalist revolutionary movement from the ranks of the mostly Roman Catholic lower-middle and working class Also made Yeats reassess some of his attitudes. Yeats was an Irish Nationalist at heart, looking for the kind of traditional lifestyle displayed through poems such as ‘The Fisherman’. However, as his life progressed, he sheltered much of his revolutionary spirit and tried to distance himself from the intense political landscape and the Easter Rising until 1922, when he was appointed Senator for the Irish Free State.

In 1916, 51 years old Yeats was determined to marry. Meanwhile John MacBride had been executed by British forces for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising, and Yeats thought that his widow might remarry so he proposed to Maud Gonne again and she duly refused. So He set his sights on her 21year old daughter.” Iseult Gonne , Maud’s second child with Lucien Millevoye, but was again rejected so Yeats proposed to 25-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees, whom he had met through Olivia Shakespear., and the two were married in 1916 having two children, Anne and Michael. They also experimented with automatic writing, and George contacted a variety of spirits and guides they called “Instructors” while in a trance. The spirits communicated a complex and esoteric system of philosophy and history, which the couple developed into an exposition using geometrical shapes: phases, cones, and gyres.the results were subsequently published in “A vision”. In December 1923, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”. This led to a significant increase in the sales of his books,

In 1922 Yeats’ appointed to the first Irish Senate in 1922, and was re-appointed for a second term in 1925. During a incendiary debate on divorce, which Yeats viewed as a confrontation between Roman Catholics and Protestants. He delivered a series of speeches that attacked the “quixotically impressive” ambitions of the government and clergy, likening their campaign tactics to those of “medieval Spain.” The resulting debate has been described as one of Yeats’s “supreme public moments”, and began his ideological move away from pluralism towards religious confrontation.

He retired from the Senate in 1928 due to ill health and began to question whether democracy could cope with deep economic difficulty, particularly after the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression. After the First World War, he became sceptical about the efficacy of democratic government, and anticipated political reconstruction in Europe through totalitarian rule. His later association with Ezra Pound drew him towards Benito Mussolini. In 1934 At the age of 69 he was ‘rejuvenated’ by a Steinach operation and the last five years of his life Yeats found a new vigour and had a number of relationships with younger women including the poet and actress Margot Ruddock, and the novelist, journalist and sexual radical Ethel Mannin and despite age and ill-health, he remained a prolific writer. And In 1936, he became editor of the Oxford Book of Modern Verse, 1892–1935.

W.B. Yeats tragically died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France, on 28 January 1939, however he has left an enduring legacy. He was originally buried at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. However In September 1948, Yeats’ body was moved to Drumcliff, County Sligo, on the Irish Naval Service corvette LÉ Macha. The person in charge of this operation for the Irish Government was Sean MacBride, son of Maud Gonne MacBride, and then Minister of External Affairs.

Charles Dickens

Renowned Victorian novelist Charles Dickens sadly died at Gad’s Hill Place, on 9 June 1870. He was born 7 February 1812 in Landport, Portsea. He moved to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury then to Chatham, Kent. He spent his early years outdoors and reading voraciously. He received a private education at William Giles’s School, in Chatham. In 1822 the Dickens family moved from Kent to Camden Town, in London. Unfortunately his His Father John Dickens continually lived beyond his means and the Dickens family, apart from Charles, were imprisoned in the Marshalsea debtor’s prison in Southwark, London in 1824.Charles himself was boarded with family friend Elizabeth Roylance in Camden Town. whom Dickens later immortalised, “with a few alterations and embellishments”, as “Mrs. Pipchin”, in Dombey and Son. Later, he also lived in the house of an insolvent-court agent who was a good-natured, kind old gentleman, with a quiet old wife”; who he had a very innocent grown-up son; these inspired the Garland family in The Old Curiosity Shop. Dickens left school and began working ten-hour days at Warren’s Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near Charing Cross railway station, pasting labels on blacking. The terrible working conditions made a deep impression on Dickens and influenced his writing and kindled his interest in socio-economic reforms and improving labour conditions,

Whilst in Marshalsea, John Dickens’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Dickens, died and bequeathed him the sum of £450 and Dickens was released from prison. Under the Insolvent Debtors Act, After paying his creditors, he and his family left Marshalsea for the home of Mrs. Roylance and Charles attended the Wellington House Academy in North London, although his mother did not immediately remove him from the boot-blacking factory which soured their relationship. Righteous anger stemming from his own situation and the conditions under which working-class people lived, became major themes of his works. This unhappy period in his youth features in his favourite, and most autobiographical, novel, David Copperfield. From 1827 until 1828 Dickens worked at the law office of Ellis and Blackmore, attorneys, of Holborn Court, Gray’s Inn, as a junior clerk. He then became a freelance reporter. reporting legal proceedings. This experience informed works such as Nicholas Nickleby, Dombey and Son, and Bleak House. In 1833 Dickens’s first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine. In 1834 he becoming a political journalist, reporting on parliamentary debate covering election campaigns for the Morning Chronicle.

His journalism, in the form of sketches in periodicals, formed his first collection of pieces Sketches by Boz, published in 1836. his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was also published in March 1836. Dickens became editor of Bentley’s Miscellany and also wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and, Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty as part of the Master Humphrey’s Clock series. In 1836, he married Catherine Thomson Hogarth the daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle. Dickens and his family lived in London for two years. Dickens’s younger brother Frederick and Catherine’s 17-year-old sister Mary also moved in with them. Sadly Mary died in 1837 and her death is fictionalised as the death of Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop. In 1842, Dickens and his wife travelled to the United States and Canada and supported the abolition of slavery. In 1851 Dickens moved into Tavistock House where he wrote Bleak House, Hard Times and Little Dorrit.

In 1856 he moved to Gad’s Hill Place in Higham, Kent. In 1857, Dickens hired professional actresses for the play The Frozen Deep, which he and his protégé Wilkie Collins had written. Dickens, was very philanthropic and in 1858 he was approached by his friend Charles West, who founded Great Ormond Street Hospital, to help during a major financial crisis.So In 1858, Dickens spoke at the hospital’s first annual festival dinner at Freemasons’ Hall and later gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church hall. The events raised enough money to enable the hospital to purchase the neighbouring house, No. 48 Great Ormond Street, increasing the bed capacity from 20 to 75. In 1858 Dickens began a series of public readings in London followed by a tour of England, Scotland and Wales. He then wrote The novelsA Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He also worked as the the publisher, editor & major contributor to, the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens also became interested in the paranormal was one of the early members of The Ghost Club. Arctic Exploration also featured in Dickens’s writing The heroic friendship between explorers John Franklin and John Richardson gave Dickens the idea for A Tale of Two Cities, The Wreck of the Golden Mary and the play The Frozen Deep.

IN 1865, Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst rail crash. The first seven carriages of the train plunged off a cast iron bridge under repair. The only first-class carriage to remain on the track was the one in which Dickens was travelling. This inspired the short ghost story The Signal-Man in which the central character has a premonition of his own death in a rail crash and is based around several previous rail accidents, such as the Clayton Tunnel rail crash of 1861. The Staplehurst crash deeply traumatized Dickens, and his normally prolific writing shrank to completing Our Mutual Friend and starting the unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

In 1867 Dickens sailed to America and met Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his American publisher James Thomas Fields. His final appearance was at a banquet the American Press held in his honour at Delmonico’s on 18 April and boarded his ship to return to Britain shortly after. Between 1868 and 1869, Dickens gave a series of “farewell readings” in England, Scotland, and Ireland, until he collapsed on 22 April 1869, at Preston in Lancashire showing symptoms of a stroke. Dickens began work on his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. After, he witnessed an elderly pusher known as “Opium Sal in an Opium Den in Shadwell, who subsequently featured in his mystery novel. On 2 May, he made his last public appearance at a Royal Academy Banquet in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, paying a special tribute to his friend, illustrator Daniel Maclise.

Sadly On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home, after a full day’s work on Edwin Drood, and he died the following day five years to the day after the Staplehurst rail crash 9 June 1865. Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral “in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner,” he was laid to rest in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads

“To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England’s most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years. He was a sympathizer with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.”

Five days after Dickens’s interment in the Abbey, Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley also delivered a memorial eulegy. Dickens’s will stipulated that no memorial be erected to honour him. The only life-size bronze statue of Dickens, cast in 1891 by Francis Edwin Elwell, is located in Clark Park in the Spruce Hill neighbourhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. The couch on which he died is preserved at the Dickens Birthplace Museum in Portsmouth. However Dickens’ novels remain popular and have been adapted for stage, screen and Television numerous times

Iain Banks

Prolific Scottish author Iain Banks sadly died 9 June 2013 . He was born 16 February 1954 in Dunfermline, Fife, to a mother who was a professional ice skater and a father who was an officer in the Admiralty. An only child, Banks lived in North Queensferry until the age of nine, near the naval dockyards in Rosyth where his father was based. his family then moved to Gourock due to the requirements of his father’s work.After attending Gourock and Greenock High Schools, Banks studied English, philosophy and psychology at the University of Stirling (1972–1975). he wrote his second novel TTR during his first year at university.Following graduation Banks chose a succession of jobs that left him free to write in the evenings. These posts supported his writing throughout his twenties and allowed him to take long breaks between contracts, during which time he travelled through Europe, Scandinavia and North America. He was an expediter analyser for IBM, a technician (for British Steel) and a costing clerk for a Chancery Lane, London law firm during this period of his life.

Banks decided to become a writer at the age of 11 and completed his first novel The Hungarian Lift-Jet at 16. Following the publication and success of The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks began to write full-time. His editor at Macmillan, James Hale, advised him to write one book a year and Banks agreed to this schedule. Banks’s first science fiction book Consider Phlebaswas released in 1987. The Crow Road (1992) was adapted as a BBC television series and Espedair Street (1987) was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.Banks cited Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss, M. John Harrison and Dan Simmons as literary influences. Banks published work under two names. His parents had intended to name him “Iain Menzies Banks”, but his father made a mistake when registering the birth and “Iain Banks” became the officially registered name. Despite this error, Banks continued to use his middle name and submitted The Wasp Factory for publication as “Iain M. Banks”. Banks’ editor enquired about the possibility of omitting the ‘M’ as it appeared “too fussy” and the potential existed for confusion with Rosie M. Banks, a romantic novelist in the Jeeves novels by P.G. Wodehouse; Banks agreed to the omission. Following three mainstream novels, Banks’s publishers agreed to publish his first science fiction (SF) novel Consider Phlebas. To create a distinction between the mainstream and SF novels, Banks suggested the return of the ‘M’ to his name and the author’s second title was consequently confirmed.

He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks, and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. his first successful novel was The Wasp Factory and following the publication and success of The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks began to write on a full-time basis. His first science fiction book, Consider Phlebas, was released in 1987, marking the start of the popular The Culture series. His books have been adapted for theatre, radio and television. In 2008, The Times named Banks in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″.in April 2013. By his death in June 2013 Banks had published 26 novels. His twenty-seventh novel The Quarry was published posthumously. Banks was also the subject of The Strange Worlds of Iain Banks South Bank Show (1997), a television documentary that examined his mainstream writing, and was also an in-studio guest for the final episode of Marc Riley’s Rocket Science radio show, broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music. aradio adaptation of Banks’s The State of the Art was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2009; the adaptation was written by Paul Cornell and the production was directed/ produced by Nadia Molinari. in 1998 Espedair Street was dramatised as a serial for Radio 4, presented by Paul Gambaccini in the style of a Radio 1 documentary. In 2011 Banks was featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme Saturday Live. Banks reaffirmed his atheism during his Saturday Live appearance, whereby he explained that death is an important “part of the totality of life” and should be treated realistically, instead of feared.

Banks appeared on the BBC television programme Question Time, a show that features political discussion. In 2006 Banks captained a team of writers to victory in a special series of BBC Two’s University Challenge. Banks also won a 2006 edition of BBC One’s Celebrity Mastermind; the author selected “Malt whisky and the distilleries of Scotland” as his specialist subject. His final interview with Kirsty Wark was broadcast as Iain Banks: Raw Spirit on BBC2 Scotland on Wednesday 12 June 2013. Banks was involved in the theatre production The Curse of Iain Banks that was written by Maxton Walker and performed at theEdinburgh Fringe festival in 1999. Banks wrote the music for some of the songs that were featured in the production and collaborated with the play’s soundtrack composer Gary Lloyd, who also composed the score for a musical production of the Banks novel The Bridge. lloyd explained his collaboration with Banks in a Guardian article prior to the opening of the The Curse of Iain Banks.

Patricia Cornwell

Prolific American crime fiction author Patricia Cornwell Was born, 9 June 1956 in Miami, Florida. Her father was one of the leading appellate lawyers in the United States and served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. In 1961, Cornwell’s family moved to Montreat, North Carolina, where her mother was hospitalized for depression. Cornwell and her brothers, Jim and John, were placed in the foster care system. Cornwell attended King College in Bristol, Tennessee, before transferring to Davidson College, where she graduated with a B.A. in English. In 1979, Cornwell started working as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and soon began covering crime. Her biography of family friend Ruth Bell Graham, A Time for Remembering (renamed Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham in subsequent editions), was published in 1983. In 1984, she took a job at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia. She worked there for six years, first as a technical writer and then as a computer analyst. She also volunteered to work with the Richmond Police Department. Cornwell wrote three novels that she says were rejected before the publication, in 1990, of the first installment of her Scarpetta series, Postmortem, was published, which features Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Sarpetta.

One of the latest Patricia Cornwell crime thrillers I have read is Dust in which Scarpetta investigates the murder of a missing computer engineer named Gail Shipton, who appears to have been been murdered, shortly before the trial of her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy. Scarpetta suspects that the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington, D.C. Scarpetta begins to suspect that certain people in the government, including her boss, don’t want the killer caught and discover a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.”. Scarpetta soon finds herself involved in the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.

Another Gripping and suspenseful Patricia Cornwell novel Which I have read is Red Mist, which again features chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, who is on a quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, who was murdered six months before , so against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent husband, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta meets a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer, who may have information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings. Then when more inexplicable deaths begin to occur. Scarpetta, discovers that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning and discovers conspiracies and terrorism on an international scale.

In addition to the Scarpetta novels, Cornwell has written three pseudo-police fictions, known as the Trooper Andy Brazil/Superintendent Judy Hammer series, which are set in North Carolina, Virginia, and off the mid-Atlantic coast. Besides the older-woman/younger-man premise, the books include discomforting themes of scatology and sepsis. Cornwell has also been involved in a continuing, self-financed search for evidence to support her theory that painter Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper. She wrote Portrait of a Killer—Jack the Ripper: Case Closed, which was published in 2002 causing much controversy, especially within the British art world. She believed Sickert to be responsible for the string of murders and had purchased over thirty of his paintings and argued that they closely resembled the Ripper crime scenes, and also discovered a letter written by someone purporting to be the killer.

Nineteen eighty four👁👁

George Orwell’s bleak, dystopian futuristic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was published 8 June 1949. It is set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes.

Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good. The novel’s protagonist Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. As a sort of Spin Doctor. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother….

As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four spawned the term Orwellian, to describe official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005 the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor’s list, and 6 on the reader’s list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

E.M.Forster

English novelist E. M. Forster OM, CH sadly passed away on 7th June 1970. He was Born 1st January 1879 at 6 Melcombe Place, Dorset Square, London NW1. In 1883, Forster and his mother moved to Rooksnest, near Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He attended Tonbridge School in Kent, as a day boy. The theatre at the school has been named in his honour. He also attendeD King’s College, Cambridge, between 1897 and 1901, where he became a member of a discussion society known as the Apostles (formally named the Cambridge Conversazione Society) to discuss philosophical and moral questions Many of its members went on to constitute what came to be known as the Bloomsbury Group, of which Forster was a peripheral member in the 1910s and 1920s. There is a famous recreation of Forster’s Cambridge at the beginning of The Longest Journey. The Schlegel sisters of Howards End are based to some degree on Vanessa and Virginia Stephen.

After leaving university, he travelled in continental Europe with his mother. They moved to Weybridge, Surrey where he wrote all six of his novels. In 1914, he visited Egypt, Germany and India with the classicist Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson. During the First World War, he was a conscientious objector, and volunteered for the International Red Cross, and served in Alexandria, Egypt. Forster spent a second spell in India in the early 1920s as the private secretary to Tukojirao III, the Maharajah of Dewas. The Hill of Devi is his non-fictional account of this period. After returning to London from India, he completed the last novel of his to be published during his lifetime, A Passage to India (1924), for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He also edited Eliza Fay’s (1756–1816) letters from India, in an edition first published in 1925. Forster’ short stories, essays and librettis were ironic and well-plotted and examined class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster had a humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.

The novel Howard’s End tells a story of social and familial relations in turn-of-the-century England and is generally considered to be Forster’s masterpiece. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Howards End 38th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The book is about three families in England at the beginning of the 20th century: the Wilcoxes, rich capitalists with a fortune made in the Colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings (Margaret, Tibby, and Helen), who have much in common with the real-life Bloomsbury Group; and the Basts, a struggling couple in the lower-middle class. The Schlegel sisters try to help the poor Basts and try to make the Wilcoxes less prejudiced. The Schlegels frequently encounter the Wilcoxes. The youngest, Helen, is attracted to the younger Wilcox brother, Paul. The eldest, Margaret, becomes friends with Paul’s mother, Ruth Wilcox. Ruth’s most prized personal possession is her family house at Howards End. She wishes that Margaret could live there, as her own husband and children do not value the house and its rich history, So Ruth, who is terminally ill, bequeaths the cottage to Margaret causing great consternation among the Wilcoxes. So Mrs Wilcox’s widowed husband, Henry, and his children decide not to tell Margaret about her inheritance.

Not knowing about the inheritance, free-spirited Margaret becomes friends with Henry Wilcox and eventually marries him. However Henry’s elder son Charles and his wife try to keep Margaret from taking possession of Howards End.On Henry’s advice, Helen tells Leonard Bast to quit his respectable job as a clerk at an insurance company, because the company stands outside a protective group of companies and thus is vulnerable to failure. Bast then loses his tenuous hold on financial solvency. and Helen tries to help young Leonard Bast (perhaps in part out of guilt about having intervened in his life to begin with). Sadly it all goes terribly wrong when it is revealed that Bast’s wife had an affair with Henry in Cyprus ten years previously but he had then carelessly abandoned her.Margaret confronts Henry about his ill-treatment, and he is ashamed of the affair but unrepentant about his harsh treatment of her. In a moment of pity for the poor, doomed Leonard Bast, Helen has an affair with him. Finding herself pregnant, she leaves England to travel through Germany to conceal her condition, but eventually returns to England when she receives news of her Aunt Juley’s illness but refuses to meet with Margaret but is tricked into a meeting at Howards End Henry and Margaret plan an intervention with a doctor, thinking Helen’s evasive behavior is a sign of mental illness. When they come upon Helen at Howards End, they also discover the pregnancy.Margaret tries in vain to convince Henry to forgive Helen. Unaware of Helen’s presence Mr. Bast arrives at Howards End wishing to speak with Margaret, whereupon Henry’s son, Charles, attacks him, and accidentally kills him, Charles is charged with manslaughter and sent to jail for three years. The ensuing scandal and shock cause Henry to reevaluate his life…

Forster’s most successful novel A Passage to India, on the other hand is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around Dr. Aziz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, A young British schoolmistress, Adela Quested, and her elderly friend, Mrs. Moore,who visit the fictional city of Chandrapore, British India. Adela is to marry Mrs. Moore’s son, Ronny Heaslop, the city magistrate. Meanwhile, Dr. Aziz, a young Indian Muslim physician sees a strange Englishwoman at his favourite mosque, who turns out to be Mrs Moore, and the two chat and part as friends. Mrs Moore relates her experience at the mosque to Ronny Heaslop, her son. Adela, is intrigued, and attends a party held by Mr. Turton, the city tax collector, where she meets Cyril Fielding, headmaster of Chandrapore’s government-run college for Indians. Later on Fielding invites Adela and Mrs. Moore to a tea party with him and a Hindu-Brahmin professor named Narayan Godbole. On Adela’s request, he also extends his invitation to Dr. Aziz. At Fielding’s tea party, Fielding and Aziz become great friends and Aziz promises to take Mrs. Moore and Adela to see the Marabar Caves, a distant cave complex.

Aziz and the women begin to explore the caves. Unfortunately Mrs. Moore is overcome with claustrophobia. Later Aziz sees Adela speaking to another young Englishwoman, Miss Derek, who has arrived with Fielding. Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Aziz return to Chandrapore on the train. When the train arrives At the train station, Dr. Aziz is arrested and charged with sexually assaulting Adela in a cave. She reports the alleged incident to the British authorities.The run-up to Aziz’s trial for attempted sexual assault releases the racial tensions between the British and the Indians. The only actual evidence the British have is the field glasses in the possession of Dr. Aziz. Despite this, the British colonists firmly believe that Aziz is guilty however Fielding proclaims his belief in Aziz’s innocence and the Indians, who consider the assault allegation a fraud aimed at ruining their community’s reputation, welcome him. Mrs. Moore is unexpectedly apathetic and irritable. Her experience in the cave seems to have ruined her faith in humanity. Although she curtly professes her belief in Aziz’s innocence, she does nothing to help him. Ronny, alarmed by his mother’s assertion that Aziz is innocent, decides to arrange for her return by ship to England before she can testify to this effect at the trial. Mrs. Moore dies during the voyage. Her absence from India becomes a major issue at the trial, where Aziz’s legal defenders assert that her testimony alone, had it been available, would have proven the accused’s innocence. This causes Adela herself to question Aziz’s guilt.

A Room with a View is about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. Merchant-Ivory also produced an award-winning film adaptation in 1985 starring Helena Bonham-Carter, Denholm Elliot and Dame Maggie Smith. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked A Room with a View 79th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. A passage to India was selected as one of the 100 great works of English literature by the Modern Library and won the 1924 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Time magazine included the novel in its “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005″. The novel is based on Forster’s experiences in India. E.M.Forster borrowed the book’s title from Walt Whitman’s poem Leaves of Grass.

The Jigsaw man by Nadine Matheson

I would like to read The Jigsaw Man a fast-paced, exciting and gripping debut crime thriller by Nadine Matheson. It begins when bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames. Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley  who works for the Serial Crimes Unit, finds herself leading an investigation into a serial killer whose modus operandi is strikingly similar to that of Peter Olivier,  the notorious Jigsaw Killer. However it can’t be him; because Olivier is already serving time behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there. but now it looks as though she might need Olivier’s help, if she is to track down the copycat killer.

Ray Bradbury

The American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer Ray Bradbury Sadly passed away on June 5th, 2012 after a lengthy illness. He was born August 22, 1920, and is best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. He is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, with More than eight million copies of his works, being published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world.

Throughout his youth Bradbury was an avid reader and writer and was interested in drawing, acting and writing. One of Bradbury’s earliest influences was Edgar Allan Poe. At age twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. At the time, his favorites were also Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter as well as comic books. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory. In his youth, he spent much time reading H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, He loved Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars so much that at the age of 12 he wrote his own sequel. The young Bradbury also was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels. Bradbury claimed a wide variety of influences from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, to Thomas Wolfe. He attended Los Angeles High School and was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes and short story writing courses where the teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing.

When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt, but cited H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. In 1936, Ray Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave. Soon Bradbury began submitting his short stories for publication. After a rejection notice from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted to other magazines.

During World War Two Ray Bradbury started a career in writing after being rejected by the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines, he was also invited to attend meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which met in downtown Los Angeles. His first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the fanzine Imagination! in January, 1938. Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in November 1941,and he also published “The Lake”, and became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947, Bradbury’s short stories, “Homecoming’” was also spotted and subsequently published in Madamoiselle magazine where it won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947, Bradbury also wrote his classic story of a dystopian book-burning future, The Fireman, which was later published under the name, Fahrenheit 451.

Besides his fiction work, Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, and In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction. Several comic book writers have also adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics’ line of horror and science-fiction comics, which often featured Bradbury’s name on the cover announcing that one story in that issue would be an adaptation of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others. Bradbury remained an enthusiastic playwright throughout his life and left a rich theatrical and literary legacy, indeed his obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” Many of Bradbury’s works including Something Wicked this way Comes, have been also adapted into television shows, audiobooks or films.

Ken Follett

Prolific Welsh author Ken Follett was born 5 June 1949. He has written some great thrillers and historical novels and has sold more than 100 million copies of his works. Four of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions,Triple, and World Without End. After graduation in the autumn of 1970, Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo. After three years in Cardiff, he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books.He also began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later, he said he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publisher’s advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs. Success came gradually at first, but the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978 made him both wealthy and internationally famous. Each of Follett’s subsequent novels has also become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen. He is also featured in Making Music Magazine.

During the 1970’s Follett became involved, in the activities of Britain’s Labour Party. In the course of his political activities, he met the former Barbara Broer, a Labour official, who became his second wife in 1984. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997, representing Stevenage. She was re-elected in both 2001 and in 2005, but did not run in the 2010 general election after becoming embroiled in the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal, where she was among the MPs found to have overclaimed the highest amount of expenses Follett himself remains a prominent Labour supporter.

During his prolific career Follett Has written many great novels including the Apples Carstairs series (as Simon Myles), The Big Needle (1974) (aka The Big Apple – U.S.), the Big Black (1974), The Big Hit (1975), Piers Roper series, The Shakeout (1975)The Bear Raid (1976), The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End (2007), Fall of Giants (2010), Winter of the World (2012) and Edge of Eternity (2014). Follett latest novel A Column of Fire continues the Kingsbridge story and begins in 1558. It sees young Ned Willard returning home to Kingsbridge to find much has changed. Europe is in turmoil and Ned soon finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald. Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of Europe turns against England including the alluring, headstrong Mary Queen of Scots who lies in wait in Paris after having been proclaimed the rightful ruler of England with her followers scheming to get rid of Elizabeth. So Elizabeth sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans And it becomes clear that the real enemies – then as now – are not the rival religions but Those who believe in tyranny.

Standalone Novels which Follett has written include Amok: King of Legend (1976) (as Bernard L. Ross)The Modigliani Scandal (1976) (as Zachary Stone)The Mystery Hideout (1976) (as Martin Martinsen) (apa The Secret of Kellerman’s Studio)The Power Twins (1976) (as Martin Martinsen)Paper Money (1977) (as Zachary Stone)Capricorn One (1978) (as Bernard L. Ross) (based on screenplay by Peter Hyams)Eye of the Needle (1978) (apa Storm Island) (Edgar Award, 1979, Best Novel)Triple (1979)The Key to Rebecca (1980)The Man from St. Petersburg (1982)Lie Down with Lions (1986)Night Over Water (1991)A Dangerous Fortune (1993)A Place Called Freedom, The Third Twin, The Hammer of Eden (1998), Code to Zero. Jackdaws (2001)Hornet Flight and Whiteout. Follet has also written an number of non-fiction novels including The Heist of the Century (1978) (with René Louis Maurice, others) (apa The Gentleman of 16 July – U.S.) (apa Under the Stars of Nice) (apa Robery Under the Streets of Nice) (apa Cinq Milliards au bout de l’égout and On Wings of Eagles. Some of Follett’s novels have also been adapted for screen and Television including Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.

Val McDermid FRSE

Scottish crime writer, Val McDermid FRSE was born 4 June 1955. McDermid comes from a working-class family in Kirkcaldy, Fife. She was educated at Kirkcaldy High School and studied English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she was the first student to be admitted from a Scottish state school, and where she became President of the Junior Common Room. After graduation she became a journalist and worked briefly as a dramatist. Her first success as a novelist, Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery occurred in 1987.

McDermid’s works fall into four series: Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, and Inspector Karen Pirie. Her characters include a journalist, Lindsay Gordon; a private investigator, Kate Brannigan; a clinical psychologist, Tony Hill; and DCI Karen Pirie working out of Fife, Scotland. The Mermaids Singing, the first book in the Hill/Jordan series, won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year. The Hill/Jordan series has been adapted for television under the name Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green. McDermid has stated that Jacko Vance, a TV celebrity with a secret lust for torture, murder and under-age girls, who featured in the Wire in the Blood and two later books, is based on her direct personal experience of interviewing Jimmy Saville. McDermid considers her work to be part of the “Tartan Noir” Scottish crime fiction genre.

In 2011 McDermid was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sunderland and She is co-founder of the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, part of the Harrogate International Festivals. In 2016 she captained a team of St Hilda’s alumnæ to win the Christmas University Challenge. McDermid was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

In addition to writing novels, McDermid contributes to several British newspapers and often broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland. Her novels, in particular the Tony Hill series, are known for their graphic depictions of violence and torture. MCDermid sponsors the McDermid Stand in Stark’s Park, Raith Rovers ground in Kirkcaldy. This endeavour was in honour of her father, a scout for the club.A year after sponsoring the stand, she became a board member of the club, and starting in 2014 her website became Raith’s shirt sponsor.