Prospero’s Isle

Latest articles

  • Poetry Readings

    by Ray

    For those who are looking for something new to listen to : how about some of the greatest poems ever written in English? click here to see the complete texts of all of these poems. 24.09.2010: reactivated with modified Adobe Flash Player presentation.
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Sonnet (...)

  • The Ultimate Roller-Ride

    by Ray

    Giannuccio (pop.: 70, altitude: 500m.) is a cosy little hamlet nestled in the mountains 8 kilometres up the road from the bigger village of Monaccia d’Aullène (pop.: 400, altitude: 100 m.) in southern Corsica.
    It is best known as the starting-off point for the two-and-a-half-hour hike up to the (...)

  • How to Improve Your English (tips for French speakers)

    by Ray

    06.08.2012: updated with the following word lists necessary and essentially sufficient to be able to start reading and enjoying books at the Grade 2-3 level (CE1-CE2): - Grade 2 regular and irregular verbs - Grade 2 nouns and adjectives - Grade 3 regular and irregular verbs Here you will (...)

  • John N. Smith, Officer of the Order of Canada

    by John N. Smith

    John was awarded Canada’s highest civilian award for distinguished achievement, the Order of Canada (Officer) , in an impressive and very select award ceremony in Rideau Hall in Ottawa on May 15, 2009.
    The ceremony, which took place before an invited audience, was presided by the (...)

  • Charles Dickens Books

    by Ray

    The Pickwick Papers (1837)
    Dickens’s first and funniest novel, published when he was only 25, was a huge worldwide hit which had people lining up on the wharfs in Sydney and New York when the boats came in with the latest instalment, and which went through 100 English and American editions (...)

  • Some Thomas Hardy Books

    by Ray

    Far From the Madding Crowd (1874)
    This novel was the first of Thomas Hardy’s major works, and this Penguin Classics edition is the first time it has ever been published in its original manuscript form, without the zillion cuts and corrections made by the editor of the original serialized (...)

  • Some George Eliot books

    by Ray

    Adam Bede (1859)
    A rich, complex, indubitably well-written tale of seduction and disappointment in a bucolic, pastoral setting that has its charms, even though one could find the almost ethnological concentration on the ways and manners of the village people herein portrayed not quite as (...)

  • Some Ismail Kadare books

    by Ray

    Chronicle in Stone (1970)
    A homely and almost nostalgic evocation of life in a sleepy provincial Albanian town in the 1940s before, during, and after its occupation by Italian, German and partisan forces (in that sequence) during the Second World War. The politics are almost surprisingly (...)

  • Some E.T.A. Hoffmann books

    by Ray

    The Devil’s Elixirs (1815)
    Hoffmann is one of the masters of the romantic movement in Germany, he is one of my favourite authors, and this book is usually considered to be his masterpiece, so Achtung!
    This novel, his first, about the doings of a strange monk who guards a mysterious elixir of (...)

  • Some Mario Vargas Llosa books

    by Ray

    The Cubs and other stories (1959)
    This was Mario Vargas Llosa’s first published story, about growing up and learning about life on the streets in Lima, a theme he developed extensively in his impressive first full-length novel The Time of the Hero (La ville et les chiens). Darned interesting. (...)