08/26/2013

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Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles - classic fiction Why Poirot doe only show once in the top best books list from all the 87 times his character appeared in stories? About this book: The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in the middle of World War I, in 1916, and first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920. Styles was Christie's first published novel, introducing Hercule Poirot, InspectorJapp, and Arthur Hastings. Poirot is described as "a dear little man", "an extraordinary looking little man" and a "quaint dandyfied little man". The novel is set in England at Styles Court, an Essex country manor (also the setting of Curtain, Poirot's last case). Upon her husband's death, the wealthy widow, Emily Cavendish, inherited a life estate in Styles as well as the outright inheritance of the larger part of the late Mr Cavendish's income. Mrs Cavendish became Mrs Inglethorp upon her recent remarriage to a much younger man, Alfred Inglethorp. Emily's two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish, as well as John's wife Mary and several other people, also live at Styles. John Cavendish is the vested remainderman of Styles; that is, the property will pass to him automatically upon his stepmother's decease, as per his late father's will. Lawrence Cavendish would also come into a considerable sum of money. The income left to Mrs Inglethorp by her late husband would be distributed according to Mrs Inglethorp's own will, which she changed at least once per year. If she had not changed her will since...
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Dante's Divine Comedy - classic fiction How a super-long poem survived the Dark Ages to be a best book of all time. About the Story: The poem is written in the first person, and tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman, guides him through Heaven. Beatrice was a Florentine woman whom he had met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable courtly love tradition, which is highlighted in Dante's earlier work La Vita Nuova. The structure of the three realms follows a common numerical pattern of 9 plus 1, for a total of 10: 9 circles of the Inferno, followed by Lucifer contained at its bottom; 9 rings of Mount Purgatory, followed by the Garden of Eden crowning its summit; and the 9 celestial bodies of Paradiso, followed by the Empyrean containing the very essence of God. Within each group of 9, 7 elements correspond to a specific moral scheme, subdivided into three subcategories, while 2 others of greater particularity are added to total nine. For example, the seven deadly sins of the Catholic Churchthat are cleansed in Purgatory are joined by special realms for the Late repentant and the excommunicated by the church. The core seven sins within Purgatory correspond to a moral scheme of love perverted, subdivided into three groups corresponding to excessive love (Lust, Gluttony, Greed), deficient love (Sloth),...