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
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!
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
Mark Twain is one of the great travel writers: irreverent, conspiratorial and engaging. He delights in human fallibility, ridiculing pomposity even when he is the butt of his own irrepressible humour. Continue reading Mark Twain: The indefatigable traveller
Gioachino Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (Little Solemn Mass) was written in 1863. The composer prefaced the work with the following words – somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Continue reading Desert Island Discs (3) – Rossini and Wagner
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