Showing posts from August, 2015

F for From My Armchair.

From My Arm-Chair.  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 'To the children of Cambridge. who presented to me, on my Seventy Second Birthday, February 27th 1879, this chair from the wood of the village Chestnut Tree'.  The tree was cut down due to safety concerns. The children of Cambridge Massachusetts US. raised money to have a chair constructed from it's wood and presented it to Longfellow on his birthday. . From My Arm-Chair.Am I as a king, that I should call my own this splendid ebon throne?  Or by what reason, or what right divine,can I proclaim it mine                            Only perhaps, by right divine of song  It may to me belong ,Only because the spreading chestnut treeOf old was sung by me.Well I remember it in all its prime, when in summertimeThe affluent foliage of its branches made A cavern of cool shade.There by the blacksmith's forge beside the streetIt's blossoms white and sweetEnticed the bees, until it seemed alive,And murmured like a hive. And when t…

E For Edward Lear,

Edward Lear (1812-1888) was a poet and an illustrator.  He was talented in many fields, including music and in particular, famed for his wonderful nonsense poetry and limericks .

At the age of 16,  Edward Lear wasemployed by The Zoological Society as an ornithological draughtsman. Then, from 1832-1836 he was employed by The Earl of Derby who had a menagerie, at his stately home and estate, known as Knowsley Hall, in Liverpool UK. (My home town.) Edward Lear's first publication in 1830 was 'Illustrations of The Family of  Parrots'. The paintings were well received and compared favourably with the works of John James Audubon.

Edward Lear's early paintings of the parrots for his illustrated book.

I cannot write about Edward Lear without sharing a couple of his amusing limericks, of course I'm tempted into 'going into one' again (a description by my daughters of moi when I get a little over enthusiastic).... you may recall I covered 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat …

D stands for Diana

Diana (My namesake.)In Roman mythology Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and childbirth, being associated with wild animals and woodland and having the power to talk to and control animals.Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women, she was one of  the three  maiden goddesses, Diana , Minerva, and  Vesta  who swore to never marry. Worship of Diana is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the ApostlesEphesian.Metal Smiths who felt threatened by StPaul's preaching of Christianity,  jealously noted in her defence, shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians !(Acts 19:28 The New English Bible.) The city secretary hushed the crowd, saying "Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the Keeper (Guardian of the Temple) of the great Diana and of her image that fell from heaven?" (Acts 19:36.)In Ephesus where she was worshipped as Diana of Ephesus. The Temple of Artemision used to be one of the Wo…