John Donne, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Thomas Carew, and Henry Vaughan: these were some of the 17th-century writers who devised a new form of poetry full of wit, intellect and grace, which we now call Metaphysical poetry. They wrote about their deepest religious feelings and their carnal pleasures in a way that was radically new and challenging to their readers. Their work was largely misunderstood or ignored for two centuries, until 20th-century critics rediscovered it, finding in it a deep originality and a willingness to experiment.
In the years between 1854 and 1856, Britain fought its only European war between the ending of the Napoleonic conflict in 1815 and the opening of the Great War in 1914. Although eventually victorious, this was a hard war fought with little skill and filled with great loss. Indeed the Crimean War became infamously known for military and logistical incompetence, perhaps most aptly epitomised by the near annihilation of the British Light Brigade.
Simon Cliffe reads some of the greatest Christmas poems for the 12 days of Christmas. Day 1 - Merry Christmas by Louise May Alcott. Day 2 - Christ's Nativity by Henry Vaughan. Day 3 - Ceremonies for Christmas by Robert Herrick. Day 4 - New Prince, New Pomp by Robert Southwell. Day 5 - Christmas Cheer by Thomas Tusser. Day 6 - Ring Out, Wild Bells by Lor Alfred Tennyson. Day 7 - The Oxen by Thomas Hardy. Day 8 - Nativity by John Donne. Day 9 - A Christmas Carol by G.K. Chesterton.
"Good stories, not keen on the narrator"