British Writers, Artists & Musicians
DANIEL DEFOE IS HERE
GAINSBOROUGH, PAINTER WITH A HEART, IS HERE
Passionate Pugin is HERE
Christopher Wren's St Paul's
George Stubbs and the Kingdom of Animals
Constable is HERE
ELTON JOHN, SIX DARK & DAZZLING DECADES
ARCHITECT LAURIE BAKER, BUILDER & BLYTHE SPIRIT
COMPOSING FOR A LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY
Julian of Norwich HERE
Eccentric and resolute, Lord Peter Whimsey, Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Adam Dalgliesh, Brother Cadfael, Miss Jane Marple, DSI Jane Tennison, the insomniac Bohan, and Mma Precious Ramotswe of Botswana explore the recesses of the human psyche.
John Donne, George Herbert, William Wordsworth, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning are by turns tender and incandescent, spiritual and sensual. Four different kinds of love infuse and shape their poetry.
SOUL-RICH DRAMABoth had painful childhoods. Both had secret lovers. Both create memorable characters that experience the heights of heroism, the depths of depravity, and the glistening beauty of love. William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens have quite a lot to say to each other, and to us.
MUSIC FROM PLANET EARTH
Out of the turmoil and tragedy of the 20th century, Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and John Tavener create haunting, hopeful, and healing music.
PAINTING THE LANDSCAPE OF DESIRE
Turner sold everything he painted with the exception of ‘His Darling’, a work he refused to sell. Constable could not find buyers for his paintings, though now they are considered priceless. One day in the Royal Academy, Turner “fired a gun” into a Constable painting, an event that reveals the temper and the very different achievements of these two great artists.
Three non-fiction books written in the Middle Ages – The Cloud of Unknowing, The Spirit of Prayer, and Showings of Divine Love – reveal the Brit as mystic, and the mystical experience as joy.
IS THERE A MAN IN THE HOUSE?
The heroes of Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontës share certain romantic character traits. These make for interesting and unexpected developments.
A WILDLY BEATING HEART
John Gay's witty rogues and ballads, Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Billy Elliot are some of the British contributions to a much loved art form.
British actors and directors have a gift for capturing Oscars and radiating cinematic heat. Their range, from Olivier to Sean Connery, from Cary Grant to Judi Dench, is dazzling. Their careers are meteoric.
WIZARDS OF SPACE & TIME
In the 14th century, master builders create the stunning heights and airy expanses of Perpendicular Gothic. In the 17th century, Christopher Wren rebuilds London after the Great Fire, and makes a clean break with Gothic. (His enchanting steeple for St. Bride’s inspires the classic, white-tiered wedding cake.) In the 19th century, A.W.N. Pugin, an intensely creative artist, who designed his first chair when he was eight, revives the Gothic at the age of twenty-two by co-designing Britain's landmark Houses of Parliament. In the 21st century, Norman Foster pays tribute to both Perpendicular Gothic and Wren by designing the world’s tallest bridge, a tour de force that appears to sail across the clouds.
They experienced religious persecution, deafness, and capture by slave traders. William Byrd, Henry Purcell, William Boyce, and John Newton compose celestial music. That they can is due to the English invention of the musical chord of the triad, the building block of Western music. The story and the lyrical songs of British folk music beat like a secret heart in American Country (country-western), too.
HARRY POTTER MEETS THE LORD OF THE RINGS
With heroes, hobbits, and elves, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan fighting pirates, Lucy exploring Narnia, and Harry working hard at Hogwarts, Brits write children's literature better than almost anyone. Is it the adventure? The wit? The love of being outdoors? The fierce belief in right and wrong and the importance of doing the right true thing? Or is it an ancient mystery that inspires Tolkien, Malory, Lewis Carroll, Kenneth Grahame, JM Barrie, Hugh Lofting, Beatrix Potter, PL Travers, Enid Blyton, E. Nesbit, Richmal Compton, CS Lewis, and JK Rowling?
ROCK 'N ROLL REBELS
Composing and playing sensational songs with intensity and drive, bands like the Beatles, the Stones, the Who and "Definitely Maybe" Oasis take the world by storm. Moving on more solitary musical paths are Eric Clapton and Elton John.
ECCENTRIC TRAVEL WRITERS
Eric Newby tackles the Hindu Kush; Gerald Durrell revels in Corfu and Africa; and Bruce Chatwin tracks songlines in Australia. Their insights are as startling as the people and animals they meet.
BLOOD & TEARS: WAR POETRYThe finest, most heart-breaking war poetry: Shakespeare, Housman, Owen, Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, Clough, Binyon, and Edward Thomas.
MASTERS OF HISTORY
Productivity, readability, and dangerous times distinguish British historians. The Venerable Bede wrote the first great history of the Brits in the early 8th century. Edward Gibbon, whose controversial DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE establishes new standards for research. Winston Churchill relishes making history, and writing it.
When you contribute to this website,
Chaucer, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, and Monty Python are bawdy, satirical, uproariously funny, fantastically different, and unexpectedly sublime.
COWBOY SINGER HERE
English poetry is born when a cowboy in England gets a call to sing.
THE GOLDEN SEQUENCE HERE
IAN MCEWAN FINDS
CATCHING UP TO WRITER
ISAAC WATTS - THE BEATING PULSE HERE
GEORGE HERBERT, LOVE BADE ME EAT HERE
VISIONARY, TRAVELLER, MOTHER, WIFE, WRITER
The irrepressible Dr Johnson is HERE
BIG BEN IS HERE
This wonderful book describes Britain's gifts to the world. Adults will refresh their understanding of profound events in British history, and young people will find inspiration. Warning: This book defies aggressive secularism and unthinking multiculturalism. Written by the co-editors of this website, Share the Inheritance is beautifully illustrated with 125 colour images and a timeline. Available at Amazon UK and at Amazon USA.