Posts Tagged ‘Edward Burne-Jones’

Today, the schools in Glasgow broke up for the Christmas holidays. The screams you can hear resounding through the city tonight are a combination of teachers, librarians, technicians, and so on screaming in joy, and parents screaming in horror. It’s been a very busy term, even without the extra problems created by broken bones, and a mostly enjoyable one. I’m very happy to be having two weeks off. The next few days will be dedicated to Christmas preparations – cake decorating, present wrapping (actually, present buying, given I didn’t get everything this evening on the way home, then present wrapping), sending the Christmas cards which will inevitably arrive late (just to let you know, so that you can sit on tenterhooks wondering if you will or will not get one), and a million more tasks which await, but mostly, just trying to keep my ankle rested and not in pain.  But first, an early night tonight, and a lie-in tomorrow morning. I intend to marinade myself in a thick, warm duvet, and heaps of pillows, with books, and chocolate.

Or, as John Keats puts it:

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
      Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
      Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
      Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
      Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

Today’s feast then, is a feast of sleep. Just call me Sleeping Beauty, without the thorny hedge around the old abode.


Edward Burne-Jones, The Rose Bower, the 4th painting in the Briar Rose series, located at Buscot Park, Oxfordshire. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Good night, sweet [readers],
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2,  lines 358-9

Until tomorrow.


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I really should have written this yesterday, but Comic Con and family time took precedence, as they should. WordPress wished me Happy Anniversary, with a notification that my blog is now 5 years old. How did that happen?!? I started writing as part of my preparations for my first visit to Canada, with this post. I couldn’t have foreseen at that point how much Canada would come to mean to me, or how I would make some very good friends through my subsequent visits. The blog’s name, The Victorian Librarian, has become my preferred pseudonym, if not my alter ego (which still needs some fleshing out). I even have my own crest now (below), featuring two of my favourite flowers, the iris and the bluebell, in addition to my absolute favourite thing, a book.


The Victorian Librarian crest, designed by Lora Jones 

How should I celebrate my 5th anniversary? I think that the best thing to do would be to write more regularly here, to stop neglecting my blog. Working full time for the first time in four years, in addition to other real life commitments, has taken priority, as it must, but I don’t want to get out of the habit of writing. Will this be the year I sign up to NaNoWriMo just to keep me writing? (more…)

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Thus far, this has been a week of celebrating the birthdays of some of my favourite men – first Tolkien, and now Hayao Miyazaki, who is still alive, and is 75 today! Thanks to the Glasgow-Edinburgh chapter of Geek Girls Brunch for bringing this to my attention on Facebook this morning! (more…)

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Inspired by the respective #MedievalAdvents of Kathryn Maude (@krmaude) and Sarah Peverley (@Sarah_Peverley) on Twitter, I have finally decided how to countdown to Christmas, and onwards to the end of the year, here on my blog. Regardless of what you believe, or don’t believe, this is a month in which we seek out light and warmth – be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. It has ever been so:

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

(The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper)

I’d also recommend picking up the five volumes of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Risingseries. They make perfect midwinter reading. (more…)

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Today is Mum’s birthday, so I’m not spending any large part of the day blogging. Instead, to keep up with Victorian Vendredis, and in honour of the birthday girl, here are some Victorian paintings and photos of mothers.

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La Belle Iseult, by William Morris (1858, oil on canvas, Tate Britain ; image via BBC Your Paintings)

I began the Victorian Vendredi series last week with a teaser for this week’s post. That teaser was the painting you see now to the right William Morris’s only completed painting, the model being Jane Burden, who later became his wife. On the reverse of the canvas, he wrote to her

I cannot paint you, but I love you


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William of Norwich (via History in an Hour)

Framing Medieval Bodies, a collection of essays edited by Sarah Kay and Miri Rubin, is one of those books that one reads at University and gets positively giddy about, a book that one never quite forgets. I have closely followed the work of both women since I first took that volume off the library shelf as an undergraduate with definite medieval leanings. I hope you can imagine, given the above touching anecdote from my early days in academia, how utterly giddy I was upon finding out that Miri Rubin was speaking at Queen Mary’s at the University of London, on Miraculous Cures and a Martyr’s Virtue in the Twelfth Century, as part of Queen Mary’s Centre for the History of Emotions’ lecture series on Religion and Medicine. I had only recently begun following the Centre’s blog, clearly not a moment too soon! (more…)

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