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Geneva - birthplace of a 'filthy daemon'
Posted on: Friday, July 22, 2016 Category: Writers

When Lord Byron described the horror novel, Frankenstein, as 'a wonderful work for a girl' he wasn't being patronising, just stating a fact. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was 18 years old when she came to Lake Geneva and gave life to her 'filthy daemon'. Two hundred years later, on the first warm day of the year in landlocked Europe, Geneva's 18-year-olds were swimming off pontoons, canoodling on the rocks and rollerblading past the lavish mansions of the quai Gustave Ador.

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Orwell's homage to Barcelona
Posted on: Sunday, April 21, 2013 Category: Writers

George Orwell? 'Of course I've heard of him,' said Jose Luis Izuel, and reeled off the titles of some of Orwell's early, lesser known works: 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Coming Up for Air, the one about Burma...'

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Dickens and his 'magic lantern'
Posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Category: Writers

One night in October 1857, with things less than harmonious in his marriage, Charles Dickens walked from his house in central London to his house in Kent - some 30 miles. (In Great Expectations, Pip undertakes a similar journey, albeit in the other direction.) Dickens was a prodigious walker, often at night, and it was while he was walking that London, the place he called his 'magic lantern', imprinted itself on his mind and imagination.

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