Mark Twain goes east and west

Mark Twain was an inveterate traveller. He published three fascinating books about his foreign trips and two more on the Mississippi and the American West. Continue reading Mark Twain goes east and west

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Wagner: You either love him, or hate him!

Getting tickets for the FIFA World Cup is nothing to getting tickets for the Bayreuth Festival of Wagner operas. Mark Twain heard Parsifal there in 1891, but having got in, he couldn’t wait to get out. Continue reading Wagner: You either love him, or hate him!

The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and St Catherine’s Church

St Catherine’s Church in Nuremberg was dedicated in 1297 and formed part of a Dominican convent. It became a centre for illuminating manuscripts and weaving tapestry. After the Reformation, the church was put to profane uses and between 1620 and 1778 it was the home of the Mastersingers of Nuremberg. Continue reading The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and St Catherine’s Church

Arts criticism is alive and kicking

Mark Twain was an adroit political and social commentator, but a waspish literary critic. Writing about James Fenimore Cooper, whose novels The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and The Deerslayer (1841) were among the most popular American books of the 19th century, he pulled no punches.  Continue reading Arts criticism is alive and kicking