Contemporary British and Irish Poetry: An Introduction by Sarah Broom

By Sarah Broom

This booklet presents a fascinating, hard and full of life advent to modern British and Irish poetry. It covers paintings by way of poets from quite a lot of ethnic and neighborhood backgrounds and covers a vast variety of poetic types, together with mainstream names like Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy along extra marginal and experimental poets like Tom Raworth and Geraldine Monk.

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By 1840 travellers could choose between at least six cross-Channel routes if they were going from London to Paris. For fastest overall trip time from London to Paris, the Brighton to Dieppe route was the best choice, with the nearly straight-line route taking only 20 hours 45 minutes (7 hours 30 minutes steamer time). But if least steamer time was the traveller's object, then Dover to Calais was the route to choose, though the overall trip time was 32 hours. The significance of steamer time was likely to increase in direct proportion to the number of times a traveller had been tossed around by the Channel.

Once Murray began dispensing the practical information and descriptions, travellers devoted their journals more to detailing personal impressions, or how they were affected by what they saw. A Scotsman travelling in Italy for health reasons wrote during his trip to Pompeii, `The Guide Books are so minute in their descriptions that little can be added. '34 He thus went on to write about these. Other travellers refrained from providing their own descriptions and information, including instead page numbers or quotes from guidebooks.

71 One of the most hostile diatribes against the railways came from a commercial traveller, Throne Crick. He argued that the new form of transport was undermining the commercial community, particularly that found in the commercial rooms of hotels and inns. Those rooms had been, in his view, sanctums of propriety and gentlemanly behaviour until the coming of the railway when they were invaded by swarms of `architects and attorneys, engineers, civil and otherwise, surveyors, and levellers' whose vulgar language and dirty overalls rendered the rooms more like fairs or beer gardens.

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