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Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Ιαν 20205

Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so
excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his
money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least
about his soldiers; nor did he care to go either to the
theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then
afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a
different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other
king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, ‘he is sitting in
council,’ it was always said of him, ‘The Emperor is sitting
in his wardrobe.’ Διαβάστε όλο το άρθρο »

Umberto Eco

Δεκ 201922

Umberto Eco[a] OMRI (5 January 1932 – 19 February 2016) was an Italian novelist, literary criticphilosophersemiotician, and university professor. He is widely known for his 1980 novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), a historical mystery combining semiotics in fiction with biblical analysis, medieval studies, and literary theory. He later wrote other novels, including Il pendolo di Foucault (Foucault’s Pendulum) and L’isola del giorno prima (The Island of the Day Before). His novel Il cimitero di Praga (The Prague Cemetery), released in 2010, topped the bestseller charts in Italy.[2]

Eco also wrote academic texts, children’s books, and essays, and edited and translated into Italian books from French, such as Raymond Queneau’s “Exercises in Style” (1983). He was the founder of the Department of Media Studies at the University of the Republic of San Marino,[3] president of the Graduate School for the Study of the Humanities at the University of Bologna,[4] member of the Accademia dei Lincei, and an honorary fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford.[5]

Eco was honoured with the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in 2005 along with Roger Angell.

William Shakespeare 

Δεκ 201917

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-uponAvon, in England. His father, John, was a glove-maker. His mother, Mary, was a farmer’s daughter. He had two older
sisters, two younger sisters and three younger brothers.

William probably studied Latin, Greek and history, and left school when he was 14 or 15. Three years later he married Anne Hathaway. They had a daughter called Susanna and twins named Judith and Hamnet. Sometime before 1590 he left Stratford and went to London, the capital city of England.

London’s first theatre opened in 1576. Shakespeare worked in London as an actor and
then started writing plays too. In 1593 the plague, a terrible disease, killed thousands
of people and theatres were closed. During this time William started to write poems
instead of plays. His short poems are called sonnets.

Shakespeare helped build a new theatre called The Globe. It opened in 1599. It was
round and had space for 3,000 people. At The Globe some people stood in front of the
stage and others had seats. The audience shouted, clapped, booed and laughed while
they watched plays. Musicians created special noises to make the plays more exciting
and they had a cannon to make big bangs! No women acted in Shakespeare’s time:
men and boys played all the parts.

Shakespeare wrote comedies with happy endings, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He wrote tragedies which had sad endings, like Romeo and Juliet. His history plays are
about kings and queens, like Henry V. Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, maybe more. He
loved language and invented new words and expressions that we still use today.

William became rich and famous. He had houses in London and in Stratford. He died
when he was 52 on 23 April 1616. His plays and poetry were very popular 400 years
ago and they are still popular today. People all over the world love his work because
he wrote wonderful stories about very interesting people.

από κάτω από: Culture | με ετικέτα  |  Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια »    

Christmas Traditions in England

Δεκ 201917

Ebenezer Scrooge holds a candle stick.

It is cold, wet, and foggy in England at Christmastime. Families welcome the warmth and cheer of a Yule log blazing on the hearth. They decorate their homes with holly, ivy, and other evergreens and hang a mistletoe «kissing bough.»

Throughout the holidays, carolers go from house to house at twilight ringing handbells and singing Christmas songs. «The Holly and the Ivy» and «Hark! The Herald Angels Sing» are English favorites. People give the carolers treats, such as little pies filled with nuts and dried fruits.

The day before Christmas is very busy for families in England. They wrap presents, bake cookies, and hang stockings over the fireplace. Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells the favorite story, «A Christmas Carol.»

After hearing their favorite Christmas story, children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes. They toss their letter into the fire so their wishes can go up the chimney. After the children fall asleep on Christmas Eve, Father Christmas comes to visit. He wears a long, red robe, carries a sack of toys, and arrives on his sleigh pulled by reindeer. He fills the children’s stockings with candies and small toys.

On Christmas Day, everyone sits down to the midday feast and finds a colorful Christmas cracker beside their dinner plate. A Christmas cracker is a paper-covered tube. When the end tabs are pulled, there is a loud crack. Out spills a paper hat to wear at dinner, small trinkets, and a riddle to read aloud to everyone at the table.

The family enjoys a feast of turkey with chestnut stuffing, roast goose with currants, or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Brussels sprouts are likely to be the vegetables. Best of all is the plum pudding topped with a sprig of holly. Brandy is poured over the plum pudding and set aflame. Then family members enjoy a dramatic show as it is carried into the dining room. Whoever finds the silver charm baked in their serving has good luck the following year. The wassail bowl, brimming with hot, spiced wine, tops off the day’s feast. It is said that all quarrels stop when people drink wassail.

After dinner, the family gathers in the living room to listen to the Queen of England deliver a message over radio and television. At teatime in the late afternoon, the beautifully decorated Christmas cake is served.

The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day. This day has nothing to do with fighting. Long ago, people filled church alms boxes with donations for the poor. Then on December 26, the boxes were distributed. Now people often use this day to give small gifts of money to the mail carrier, news vendor, and others who have helped them during the year.

Beginning on Boxing Day, families can enjoy stage performances called pantomimes. This activity originally meant a play without words, or actors who mimed or entertained without speaking. Pantomime now refers to all kinds of plays performed during the Christmas season. Such familiar children’s stories as «Cinderella» and «Peter Pan» delight young and old alike. In some towns, masked and costumed performers called mummers present plays or sing carols in the streets.

από κάτω από: Traditions | με ετικέτα  |  1 Σχόλιο »    

Christmas in the United Kingdom 

Δεκ 201917


In the UK (or Great Britain), families often celebrate Christmas together, so they can watch each other open their presents!

Most families have a Christmas Tree (or maybe even two!) in their house for Christmas. The decorating of the tree is usually a family occasion, with everyone helping. Christmas Trees were first popularised the UK by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Prince Albert was German, and thought that it would be good to use one of his ways of celebrating Christmas in England.

Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe are also sometimes used to decorate homes or other buildings.

Most villages, towns and cities are decorated with Christmas lights over Christmas. Often a famous person switches them on. The most famous Christmas lights in the UK are in Oxford Street in London. Every year they get bigger and better. Thousands of people go to watch the big ‘switch on’ around the beginning of November.




The Story of Hans Christian Andersen

Δεκ 201912


Andersen was Danish. He was born in Odense, Denmark, almost 200 years ago on April 2, 1805. In fact, the year 2005 marked his 200th birthday!

His father was a shoemaker, and his mother was a washerwoman for rich people in large homes. In his stories you will find many themes of the differences between the poor and the rich. You will also find the occasional shoemaker.

Even as a child he always loved the arts, and he left home at age 14 to make his fortune. He was an artist, a singer and an actor, but he was not a success at first. He grew even poorer and almost died of hunger. He received some money and could afford to continue his education thanks to the help of a patron of the arts, the director of the Royal Theatre. He went to university in the capital city of Copenhagen and began writing.

Andersen was first known as a poet, and his poetry won him many patrons and paid his way to travel throughout Europe.

His first book of fairy tales was published in 1835. The book was a success, and he followed it with many other volumes of children’s stories, almost one a year, right up until 1872! Because of his wonderful fairy tales, Andersen became known as the greatest writer in Denmark, and one of the most beloved children’s authors in the world. In his lifetime, he wrote more than one hundred and fifty fairy tales, and his stories have been translated into over 100 languages!

 One of the highest prizes in children’s literature is the Hans Christian Andersen Award, presented to only one author and one illustrator every two years. It is presided over by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

Hans Christian Andersen was tall and skinny with a big nose he always thought that he was very ugly. His stories show compassion for those who are outcast and suffering. They also make fun of the spoiled and conceited.

His stories teach us that appearances can be deceiving, and that there is a magical beauty even within the most unlikely characters. Hans Christian Andersen born April 2, 1805 – died August 4, 1875

Hans Christian Andersen 

born April 2, 1805 – died August 4, 1875


John Lennon and Τhe Beatles

Δεκ 201912


John Winston Ono Lennon

is one of the most famous musical artists ever. He shot to fame as one of The Beatles. He co-wrote most of the band’s songs, the majority of which are now rock classics. He also helped shape the social revolution of the 1960s. His solo career further elevated him as a music legend. Lennon also achieved fame as a peace activist.

Lennon was born in Liverpool in 1940. He was brought up by an aunt, who bought him a harmonica and taught him how to play the banjo. Lennon’s mother played him Elvis Presley records and he fell in love with Rock and Roll. He told his mother and aunt he would be a famous singer one day.

Lennon met Paul McCartney in 1957 at a church hall concert.

  • They became friends and began writing songs together.
  • They formed a band called The Beatles.
  • They became popular playing live at local clubs in Liverpool and Germany.

Then they became the most successful and influential act in music history. Lennon famously said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

Lennon left The Beatles in 1970. That same year he released the ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’ album, which he recorded with his Japanese wife Yoko Ono. His album ‘Imagine’ followed in 1971. The title song became an anthem for anti-war movements. More classic albums followed. On 8th December 1980, Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York apartment by a deranged fan ( 


Sources: and assorted biographies.



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