Profile photo of Michael Blackburn

About Michael Blackburn

Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing in Lincoln School of Humanities. Poet and occasional publisher.

Student revolutionaries back in 1968…a history lesson.

Students rioting in Paris, 1968.

Students rioting in Paris, 1968.

COMRADES! REVOLUTIONARIES! Let us celebrate! It is 50 years since the évènements of ’68 in Paris. Long live the spirit of the barricades! Remember what bliss it was to be alive then, what heaven it was to be young?
No, me neither. There was little bliss available in the rather dour, parochial environs of the ancient country town in North Yorkshire as I entered my fourteenth year. The political pronouncements of boss-eyed <em>philosophe</em> Sartre, the cobble-throwing students, the smart-arsed conundrums of the Situationists, these meant nothing to me or my contemporaries and barely even seemed to impinge on the consciousness of our parents who were more concerned by the fact that we had grown our hair long, dressed like scarecrows and listened to terribly loud music. To give them their due, though, they didn’t complain about us trying pass ourselves off as 18 in the local pubs (and sometimes succeeding) so we could get our hands on pints of cold, fizzy beer.

Read the whole thing at The Fortnightly Review.

Late Victorian/Edwardian Lit Exam info

Further to several student queries regarding the location of the Exam for Late Victorian to Edwardian Literature ENL1013M taking place on 16th May 4-6pm, some have Seminar Room: SPORTS and some Sports Centre SPORTS on their timetables, I can confirm they are both the Sports Hall within the Sports Centre.  Upon arrival you will be advised where to sit.  Please ensure you take pens/pencils/rubber/pencil sharpener, you can also take a 500ml bottle of water/soft drink with you and a small packet of sweets if you wish.  Please make sure you have your student card with you.

Students with Learning Support Plans may have a different location on their timetables.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Clare Massey, Administrator for English cmassey@lincoln.ac.uk.

Extract from Mary Mitford’s Sketches of English Life and Character

This extract is from the sketch,“Hannah Bint”, included in Some Sketches of English Life and Character, by Mary R Mitford.

Mary Mitford (1787-1855) was a successful author and dramatist whose work is now, unfortunately, little known. She specialised in writing about English rural life.

More on Mary R Mitford – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Russell_Mitford

Image: “A Village by the Sea”, by Stanhope Forbes (one of the Newlyn School); as included in the above book.

How about these first year exam questions?

If you think first year exams are daunting, how about this? From 1974.

FIRST YEAR ENGLISH LITERATURE, Paper II: Renaissance Drama, Leeds University 1974.

Closed book.

Time allowed: 3 hours.

  1. Either: (a) The idea of time seems to be very important in Shakespeare’s last plays. Describe the presentation of this idea, and indicate the nature and effect of its operation. You may, if you wish, restrict your answer to any one play.

Or: (b) ‘Her [Nature’s] World is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden.’ (SIR PHILIP SIDNEY). In what ways might this comment be applied to the works of the English Renaissance dramatists? Discuss at least two dramatists.

Or: (c) Outline the features which, in your view, are characteristic of Shakespeare’s ‘Romances’.

 

  1. Either: (a) ‘The progress of the minds of the central figures towards deeper and deeper self-knowledge, the approach to the impenetrable mystery of fate perceived in the moments of intensest suffering and action, which are also the moments of clearest insight.’ (ELLIS-FERMOR). Illustrate and discuss this aspect of The Duchess of Malfi.

Or: (b) Examine, with reference to Hamlet or to The Revenger’s Tragedy, the ways in which imagery and symbolism are used to create, and sustain, a particular tragic mood.

Or: (c) What are the features which commonly distinguish the Tragedy from the Revenge Play?