A poem for the New Year: “Ring Out, Wild Bells” by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Last time we had a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson here on the blog, it was his lovely short piece “The Owl”. In this post I’d like to present “Ring Out, Wild Bells”: it’s a classic New Year’s Eve poem, filled with good wishes and hopeful pleas. First published in 1850, it addresses everything from …

Book review: “Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances”

Man’s belief in survival of life after death is one of the oldest expressions of religiosity, firmly embedded in the very foundations of organised religion. Right from the prehistoric times humans have been keenly interested in what happens to the soul after the demise of the physical body, as evidenced by the earliest funerary rites. …

Eat like Sherlock: food in Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories

Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and novels featuring Sherlock Holmes contain a lot of little details about Victorian society, its culture, available technology and social conventions. As I was re-reading all the canonical stories earlier this year for the umpteenth time, my attention was inadvertently drawn to food, of all things. I found it interesting to …