The recent success of the movie, The King’s Speech, gives one plenty of food for thought. Undoubtedly a slick, sophisticated Hollywood production with some good performances by the cast, at times it takes woeful liberties with certain historical facts. Particularly biased is the movie’s depiction of Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor after his abdication in December 1936), elder brother of King George VI—shown as an extravagant and callous young man, with a slightly malicious attitude towards his younger brother.
One particularly controversial aspect of literature is its relationship to history. According to literary critic and scholar Satish C. Aikant, “The bond [between literature and history] is both inextricable and problematic”, as a “…study of literature inevitably involves a study of its history and a determination of its sites and modes of discrimination…” (In ARIEL, Vol. 31-1 & 2, 2000, p.337).
A big prisoners’ fiasco in Iran showed to the world what exactly the so-called ‘UN Mandated’ US-UK alliance in Iraq is really up to. Trying to incite the Iranians into war, via provocative steps. As if the world hasn’t had enough of the sort of thing that is making a hell out of Afghanistan and Iraq, at this very time.
“I have no regrets [about the Iraq War]”, insisted British Prime Minster Tony Blair, very barefacedly, in a recent Interview (Sky News TV, 14th March)—despite all the chaos, anarchy and bloodshed that he and his ‘senior partner’ President Bush of the USA have been responsible for.
- “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”
The poem, a ballad written in imitation of the traditional medieval ‘Troubadour Poetry’ of Provence (France), was probably written in April 1819. The title of the ballad is from the Old French and means literally, “The Beautiful Maiden/Woman Without Mercy”. It is interesting that in “ The Eve of St.Agnes”, in stanza XXXIII, Keats mentions Porphyro singing a ballad with the same name to Madeleine. There is no evidence of any such poem actually existing in medieval Provencal poetry so we can conceive Keats as having created this as a figment of his imagination, later being inspired to create a poem in this mode and with this title.
If you travel from England to Scotland, you will cross the River Tweed (which also gives its name to the cloth) which runs across the famous border. Right along its banks, you will find a number of quaint little towns and hamlets, and tucked away in a green, romantic glen, the manor house of Abbottsford. This was once the home of famous Scots novelist, poet and historian, Sir Walter Scott.