Monthly Archives: August 2017

London Stories: Watercress Girl by Henry Mayhew

The little watercress girl who gave me the following statement, although only eight years of age, had entirely lost all childish ways, and was, indeed, in thoughts and manner, a woman. There was something cruelly pathetic in hearing this infant, so young that her features had scarcely formed themselves, talking of the bitterest struggles of life, […]

All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky

All Our Worldly Goods is a story of love; love that comes in many forms. It begins with the romance between Pierre and Agnes, who were next door neighbors growing up in the provincial town of Saint-Elme in France. Their love and commitment to each other get tested very early on, as Pierre’s industrious, tyrannical […]

All Things Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is the mecca for Shakespeare fans. It is where Shakespeare was born and later laid to rest. Now I’m not a big Shakespeare fan. I read a few abridged versions of his dramas when I was young, then bought a tome with all his works which I never finished reading. But recently when I […]

London Stories: Going to see a man Hanged by William Makepeace Thackeray

In 1840 Francois Courvoisier was hanged outside the Newgate Prison for the crime of murdering his employer. Executions were a public spectacle those days, so 40,000 people gathered to witness the morbid affair of Courvoisier facing death. In the crowd was William Makepeace Thackeray and in his essay Going to see a man Hanged Thackeray […]

The Dogs and the Wolves by Irène Némirovsky

The Dogs and the Wolves is the story of two distantly related Jewish families: the Sinners. They live in a Ukranian city where the poor, ‘unsavory’ Jews lived in the ghetto while the wealthy Jews lived on top of a hill in “the realm of the blessed.” With Ada’s father working as a broker, Ada’s […]

York – Home to Awe-Inspiring York Minster

Northern England is a place that tourists usually leave out of their itineraries. I had no plans of exploring the Northern England either, but when the opportunity presented itself for me to travel to York I had to take it, even if it meant that I’ll be traveling solo for the first time in my […]

London Stories: Ann of Oxford Street by Thomas De Quincey

I wish London Stories had an introduction to each story in the collection. A little bit of background to these stories would have enriched my reading experience, especially given that some of these are biographical essays and old ones at that with little to no information on the internet! 😐 I think Ann of Oxford […]

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie (Book Vs. TV)

Agatha Christie had started writing The Mystery of the Blue Train while she was going through a rough patch in her personal life. Christie had already put out a book that she did not like (The Big Four) and according to her autobiography she never really liked The Mystery of the Blue Train either. While […]

London Stories: A Visit to Charlotte Cibber by Samuel Whyte

I wasn’t familiar with Charlotte Cibber or Samuel Whyte before reading A Visit to Charlotte Cibber. (Some of you might be familiar with Colley Cibber though, who was an English actor-manager, playwright and Poet Laureate. Charlotte was Colley’s youngest child.) Samuel Whyte was a writer, and Charlotte in her early life was an actress and […]