Saturday, 3 October 2015


Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today it is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. Read here.

Friday, 2 October 2015


Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning monarch in British history on 9 September 2015. This documentary compares the lives and the reigns of two extraordinary women who have dominated periods of remarkable change:  Victoria and  Elizabeth II.
Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of political, industrial, cultural, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Monday, 14 September 2015

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England on 10 September 1960. His father, David Norman Lewis  Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's College) in Winchester.
His first acting experience came at school when he played "Jack Frost" in a Christmas pantomime. Three of his four grandparents were Methodist missionaries and he spent his early childhood in Nigeria, returning to England at age five where he entered a comprehensive school in Winchester. 
He spent two years at the Drama Centre in Chalk Farm where he was "discovered" while playing "Hamlet" during his final term. His first professional role was as "Bennet" in the West End production of "Another Country". From this performance, he went on to play a variety of character parts in both film and television. He received a BAFTA nomination for  Mr. Darcy in the 1995 TV version of  Pride and Prejudice (1995). In 2011, he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his commanding leading role,   playing British King George VI in The King’s Speech (2010).

Saturday, 5 September 2015


A couple of weeks ago I went to Milan to visit Expo. I was so eager to see it! I spent two boiling hot days there, it was a rather tiring, but absolutely worthwhile and memorable experience! I had the incredible feeling to travel from country to country while visiting the various pavilions, all of them so different, surprisingly captivating and culturally inspiring. As a matter of fact, every pavilion offers a journey through the culture, perfumes, colours and traditions of its people.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


"A late summer garden has a tranquillity found no other time of  the year."
William Longgood

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Read here a review of Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as Hamlet which is now at the Barbican until 31 October 2015. The production is sold out, but 30 £10 day tickets are made available to buy in person to every performance.
Flitting across the stage with an athletic intensity, he is walking in the footsteps of the greats; among them Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Peter O’Toole, Kenneth Branagh and most recently, David Tennant. 
Although Benedict Cumberbatch is best known for his film and television roles, he undoubtedly knows classical theatre. He first performed in Shakespearean plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream early in his career. He has appeared in films such as Atonement, Amazing Grace and  Star Trek Into Darknessand was the star of the TV series Sherlock, receiving three Emmy award nominations for the role. For The Imitation Game, about  British cryptographer  Alan Turing during the Second World War, he received an Oscar nomination.

According to Henry Hitchings, the theatre critic on the London Evening Standard, Benedict Cumberbatch is "a charismatic Hamlet, energetic but also pensive."

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Bride and Prejudice is a 2004 romantic musical film directed by Gurinder Chadha. The screenplay is a  Bollywood-style adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It was filmed in English, with some Hindi and Punjabi dialogue. The film released in the United States on 11 February 2005 and was well received by film critics. 
Needless to say, it has always been one of my favourite movies! 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


This is a romantic comedy about a nostalgic screenwriter who is on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family and has experiences there that change his life. In fact, he finds himself puzzlingly going back to the 1920s every day at midnight. Here you can read The New York Times review of the movie.

This film is sort of a daydream for American lit majors. It opens with a couple on holiday in Paris with her parents. Gil and Inez are officially in love, but maybe what Gil really loves is Paris in the springtime. He's a hack screenwriter from Hollywood who still harbors the dream of someday writing a good novel and joining the pantheon of American writers whose ghosts seem to linger in the very air he breathes: Fitzgerald, Hemingway and the other legends of Paris in the 1920s.  Continue reading here.

Sunday, 9 August 2015


I saw this beautiful and romantic period film on TV several months ago and, quite obviously, I loved it! 
It takes a look at the year leading up to and first few years of Victoria on the English throne. It shows the struggle and difficulties of being a lonely child growing up in a repressive background at Kensington Palace before becoming the  queen that would have the longest standing reign in all of British history. The film also depicts the life of a married monarch, that is to say the marriage between Victoria and Albert,  a true love story for the ages.
Read here a review of the movie.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Before watching some lovely comedy movies to improve your English, click here to read an interesting article about how "movies make language come alive".

Saturday, 1 August 2015


"In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs."
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, 31 July 2015


Here you can read this beautiful, entertaining, thrilling, touching, bold, tragic, unforgettable book about love and death whose teenage protagonists make us think over the meaning of true love. 

Here you can find a detailed analysis of this heartbreaking novel.
Teaching notes for John Green's novels are available for download here.

Thursday, 30 July 2015


Emily Brontë   was born  in Thornton, Yorkshire, England   on 30 July 1818.  She produced only  one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), a highly imaginative novel of passion and hate set on the Yorkshire moors, which  is considered one of the greatest novels in the history of literature.
Click here to learn everything about Emily Brontë and her single novel. 
Here you can find my previous post on Wuthering Heights.