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TomGriffin
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Emile, or On Education (French: ) is a 1762 work by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, describing the education of its eponymous hero from infancy to manhood. This proved to be a powerful device for expounding Rousseau's ideas about human nature. The work was banned in France and Geneva because of the heterodox religious views expressed in the section known as The Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar. Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences (French: Discours sur les sciences et les arts) is a 1750 essay by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It was originally composed in response to a competition announced by the Academy of Dijon,asking whether the restoration of the arts and sciences had contributed to the purification of morals. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Candide (French: Candide, ou l'optimisme) is a 1759 satirical novella by Voltaire. It's eponymous hero is a young man who lives a sheltered existence on his uncle's estate under the tutelage of Doctor Pangloss, a philosopher who subscribes to Leibniz's dictum that 'all is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.' Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Philosophical Letters or Letters on the English (French: Lettres philosophiques) is a 1733 work by Voltaire, revised in 1778, composed as a series of letters reflecting on his sojourn in England from 1726 to 1728. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Persian Letters (French: Lettres persanes) is a 1721 epistolary novel by Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesqueieu. The work contains the correspondence of Usbek and Rica two fictional Turkish travellers on a visit to Europe from 1711 onwards, a form which provides a vehicle for much satire of contemporary Western society. The travellers' penetrating observations on the people they encounter contrast with Usbek's disastrous relations with his own harem, to provide a sombre commentary on the difficulty of achieving self-knowledge. Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Spirit of the Laws (French: De l'esprit des lois) is a 1748 political treatise by Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. Setting out to explain the principles underlying the laws of different nations, Montesquieu was innovative in considering natural factors such as climate, although this sometimes led him to pernicious conclusions, such as his belief that slavery was more tolerable in tropical regions. Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Art of Poetry (Latin: Ars Poetica) is a poem by Horace, originally included in the second volume of his Epistles, published in 14 BCE and sometimes known as the Epistle to the Pisos (Latin: Epistula ad Pisones). Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Heroides or Epistulae Heroidum (Letters of Heroines) are a collection of Latin elegaic poems by the Roman poet Ovid, written around the end of the First Century BCE. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Art of Love (Latin: Ars Amatoria) is a Latin didactic poem by Ovid, written about 1 BCE. It's first two books offer advice on seduction for men, while the third is adressed to women. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Mother-in-Law (Latin: Hecyra) is a Latin comedy by Terence. It's first performance in 165 BC was a falure, as the crowd halting the performance in favour of a boxing match. Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Girl from Andros (Latin: Andria) is a Latin comedy by Terence, first produced in 166 BCE. The plot centres on a young Athenian, Pamphilus who attempts to evade an arranged marriage, with the help of his cunning slave Davus, in order to be with his lover, the apparently low-born Andrian girl, Glycerium. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Amphitryon (Latin: Amphitruo) is a latin comedy by Plautus, probably written in the early second century BCE. It his only play on a mythological theme, centring on the god Jupiter's seduction of Alcmena, the virtuous wife of Amphitryon, Merury's attempts to conceal the liaison, and the resulting birth of Hercules. Later adaptations inspired by the plot include versions by Dryden and Molière. Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Rope (Latin: Rudens) is a Latin comedy by Plautus, written in the late third century BCE. Set in Cyrene in North Africa, it is one of the best regarded of his surviving plays. The story centres on the girl Palaestra, who is in thrall to the pimp Labrax, until their shipwreck off the coast initiates a sequence of events which will reveal her true identity. Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Braggart Soldier (Latin: Miles Gloriosus) is a Latin comedy by Plautus. Based on a lost Greek original, it was probably written towards the end of the third century BCE. Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Pseudolus is a Latin comedy by Plautus, originally produced in 191 BC. The title character is a slave whose master's son is in love with a girl who is to be sold to a Macedonian soldier. The play was probably based on an unknown Greek model, and its characters feature many stock types from the New Comedy. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Epistles (Latin: Epistulae) of Horace are two volumes of poems of which the first was probably published in 20 or 19 BCE. They are written in the form of letters, and critics have long debated whether this is simply a literary device, or reflects some genuine correspondence. In Epistle 1, Horace claims to have abandoned lyric poetry for philosophy, and a strong element of epicureanism pervades the work, informing many memorable sayings. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Satires (Latin: Sermones) of Horace, are a series of poems written in the 30s BCE, collected in two books. They were Horace's first published work, and by the time the second volume appeared, he had been introduced by his friend Virgil into the literary circle around Augustus' advisor Maecenas. Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Eclogues (Latin: Eclogae or Bucolica) are a collection of ten pastoral poems by the Roman poet Virgil. Though modelled on the Greek Idylls of Theocritus, they are innovative in their use of the form for social commentary, contrasting the Arcadian ideal with the troubled society of late republican Rome.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2021 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Troilus and Criseyde is a Middle English epic poem by Geoffrey Chaucer. It belongs to the medieval literature known as the Matter of Rome, which embroidered on the classical myths. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2020 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel, published posthumously in 1818. The book's heroine, Anne Elliott is the daugher of a baronet in reduced circumstances, who rents his house to a relative of Anne's former fiancé. The eventual renewal of the engagement is the central example of the titular theme which unites many of the novel's subplots. Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2020 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Mansfield Park is an 1814 novel by Jane Austen, the third published during her lifetime. It's protagonist is Fanny Price, sent at ten years old to live with her aunt at Mansfield Park, where she is a literal poor relation among the fashionable younger set. Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2020 at Tom's Learning Notes
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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a 1792 work by Mary Wollstonecraft, is one of the earliest modern statements of the case for political and social equality for women. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2020 at Tom's Learning Notes
Negotiators for the UK and the EU have today reached agreement on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland. As part of the deal, the UK will withdraw planned legislation that would have over-ridden international law. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2020 at The Green Ribbon
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Emma is an 1815 novel by Jane Austen, the last published during her lifetime. Unlike Austen's earlier heroines, the title character is wealthy enough to feel no need to marry, and occupies herself with matchmaking for others. Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2020 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Reflections on the Revolution in France is a 1790 work by Edmund Burke. The best-known critique of the revolution, it was originally written with a polemical purpose which deployed elements of satire as well as more considered arguments in attacking the revolutionaries and their British supporters. Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2020 at Tom's Learning Notes