Friday, 26 May 2017



As the academic year draws to a close, we are looking forward to our very own Student Research Conference, which will showcase some of the work carried out by students in a variety of subjects, including English. If you are a current student and would like to present, do get in touch with Rowan or Hilary. The conference has been going for four years now, and is a great way to celebrate the end of the academic year with some thought-provoking presentations and convivial discussion. 

If you'd like to get a sense of what happens at the conference, here is a link to a post about one that took place a couple of years ago: http://eng-glos.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/we-salute-our-undergraduate-research.html





Saturday, 29 April 2017

 
 
Edward Thomas is a poet whose life and work has held a fascination for other writers. The late emergence of Thomas’ poetry after years of ‘hack’ writing, his sometimes troubled family life and his early death has been explored in several biographies as well as the play The Dark Earth and the Light Sky by Nick Dear. Thomas’ ‘ghost’ accompanies Robert Macfarlane as he cycles the Ickneild way and walks across landscapes in The Old Ways. In 2007, Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry collected together numerous poems and articles relating to Thomas by over fifty poets and critics. One of the earliest poems about Thomas after he was killed in action a hundred years ago in the First World War was written by Eleanor Farjeon:
 
Easter Monday (In Memoriam E.T.)
In the last letter that I had from France
You thanked me for the silver Easter egg
Which I had hidden in the box of apples
You liked to munch beyond all other fruit.
You found the egg the Monday before Easter,
And said, ‘I will praise Easter Monday now –
It was such a lovely morning’. Then you spoke
Of the coming battle and said, ‘This is the eve.
Good-bye. And may I have a letter soon.’
That Easter Monday was a day for praise,
It was such a lovely morning. In our garden
We sowed our earliest seeds, and in the orchard
The apple-bud was ripe. It was the eve.
There are three letters that you will not get.
 April 9th, 1917
 
Farjeon was a close friend of Thomas and both of them visited the Gloucestershire village of Dymock where fellow poets Robert Frost, Lascelles Abercrombie and Wilfrid Gibson lived. The archives at the University of Gloucestershire contain a special collection of material relating to all the poets connected to Dymock during this period
 
 Eleanor Farjeon

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Gamer geeks unite...

This is a chance for you to see the strange sorts of things some of us get up to in our spare time. I have been asked to put on a large historical figures game as a result of some rather bizarre conversations I have been having recently with other members of staff. So if you fancy joining in or just coming along to ridicule, I have booked the evening of Wednesday 10th May during activity week in room HC203A/B from 6.00-9.00. Romans in North Africa. I leave you with that thought...

Tuesday, 28 March 2017



English Literature students at the University of Gloucestershire have the opportunity to present their research at the LPA/FCH Student Research Conference on June 13th!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Pop-Up Review: Helen Rawlings reviews J.M.Coetzee's Disgrace (1999)

Another Pop-Up Review for World Book Day 2017. Helen Rawlings (English Literature) reviews J.M.Coetzee's Disgrace and wins herself a Book Token.


David Lurie, a college professor in South Africa,  twice divorced,  plodding through life and getting his sexual kicks visiting a prostitute weekly. He embarks on an illicit affair with his student Mel and is found out and sacked.  He escapes to his  daughter Lucy's ranch but carries his misfortune with him. Lucy is raped in a  brutal attack and David is  left helpless, as he appears to have been with all the women in his life.  Disgrace won the Nobel prize in 2003. A real page turner, whilst it is hard to like David  it is intriguing to see how he interacts with people particularly women. Gritty read about some  uncomfortable subjects but  engaging and well written would highly recommend.  

Pop-Up Review: Anne Johnston reviews Sun-mi Hwang's The Dog Who Dared to Dream (2012; English translation 2016)

Anne Johnston (English Literature) marks World Book Day 2017 with a review of one of her many favourite books, Sun-mi Hwang's The Dog Who Dared to Dream.




My favourite book, which is a very hard thing to define as it always fluctuates, is currently The Dog Who Dared to Dream by South Korean author Sun-mi Hwang. The book follows the life of a dog called 'Scraggly', so named because of her fuzzy black/blue and white fur which is so different to that of her brothers and sisters. So different that her own mother shows little interest in her, as do many other characters in the book. The story follows Scraggly though many losses, physical and emotional. Also paralleling the life of her owner, an old man whose hard exterior is not always what it seems. Scraggly and the old man both have dreams, but in reality dreams are not always easy to reach. If you want to read a book about bravery, perseverance and love then give this a try.

Pop-Up Review: Rose Wolfe-Emery reviews A Little Life by by Hanya Yanigihara (reprinted 2016)

To mark World Book Day, Rose Wolfe-Emery (English Literature) reviews A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara.


A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara is a truly compelling tale of love and endurance. Set in New York City, this story spans the lives of four friends and graduates each vying for happiness and success. While the narrative initially accounts for the creative and personal struggles of each character, Jude soon becomes the focal point of the novel. Haunted by memories of an unthinkably traumatic past, the reader wonders whether Jude will ever be able to lead the ‘little life’ he so desires. An immense tale that deftly chronicles the happiness and heartbreak of numerous characters, A Little Life touches everyone who reads it.