John Dryden

August 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |

Dryden (born 9 August 1631), England’s Poet Laureate before that office was fairly soon debased, you can set aside his works that tediously extol public virtue and look instead at his poetic struggles between Religion and Reason, or Now and Then: “Dim, as the borrow’d beams of Moon and Stars To lonely, weary, wandring Travellers, Is reason to the Soul; And as on high, Those rowling Fires discover but the Sky Not light us here; So Reason’s glimmering Ray Was lent, not to assure our doubtfull way, But guide us upward to a better Day. And as those nightly Tapers…

Continue Reading →

“Utter Carnage”

August 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY, LIFE |

7 August 1858: The First Game of Australian Rules Football is played. Victoria’s Cricket Captain, Tom Wills, is credited as the main inventor, developer and driver of the Australian Game. (He wanted something to keep the cricketers fit during the winter off-season). On 7 August 1858, the first ever recorded match was played between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College, held (appropriately) at the Richmond Paddock. The game ended in a draw (a goal apiece). One hundred and fifteen years later, of course, the ne plus ultra of the sport would play out in Adelaide… It has become something of…

Continue Reading →

“Give us a Boating Tune, Fred!”

July 17, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, HISTORY, MUSIC |

17 July, 1717: Handel’s “Water Music” is played on the Thames for King George I.  He went for Baroque on the river. As Michael Steen* points out, the story that Handel “tried to regain the King’s favour by serenading him, uninvited, is untrue: the music was written later.”  Handel had to work at self-selling of course, who does not? But his success was surely due to his prolific output of dramatic effects and ingenious musical structures. For a man born (23 February 1685) in Halle, Handel became the quintessential composer for the English.  His Zadok the Priest became the coronation…

Continue Reading →

5 Reasons to Learn Ancient Greek – New Beginners’ Class!

June 18, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | HISTORY |

As TVC devotees know, I am in my fifth year of Ancient (or, more properly, Classical) Greek at the WEA with Dr Alessandro Boria.  Now, for the first time we will have a beginners’ class as well as the more advanced class.  Here are 5 good reasons why you should sign up today to the new class:- Here are the first two reasons, which it is compulsory for us to recite – Learning a language develops and hones the brain – the older the language, the more ancient its roots in human thought and the better for the grey matter; You would…

Continue Reading →

A Plague o’ Both Your Houses!

May 29, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS, RELIGION |

We are sped, and sick of you both: so bent out of shape with hate and ancient enmities… Israel We know the Jews can claim to be the first in Zion, a 3000 year-old legacy, and that whilst it was under Muslim rule since the 7th century, such others are more or less interlopers (Jerusalem gets 700 odd mentions in the Old Testament, none in the Qur’an), although for centuries the Holy Lands have been recognised as multi-faith. (There’s no particular reason to criticise President Trump’s incendiary move to locate the US Embassy in Jerusalem – being nice, polite and diplomatic doesn’t sizzle any…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.