literature

Europeana – your eBook library

Stuck for something to read? Never fear – Europeana is never more than a couple of clicks away. Thanks to the digitisation efforts of our partners, there are many classic books you can find on Europeana and read online – in a variety of languages – for free and without having to buy an expensive […]

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Map with bullet hole from the remains of Walter Flex

The memory of the First World War, its events and consequences, its victims and victors, remains very much alive today. It has become part of the individual and collective memory of Europe and of countries across the world – the stories of soldiers and their families continue to be told and published from generation to […]

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Once upon a time… From Brothers Grimm to political correctness

Once upon a time… four words that conjure up images of fairy tales. Princesses and castles, talking animals, love and magic, Prince Charmings and happily ever afters. But the tales written down by the Brothers Grimm were not so sweet. (I say ‘written down’ and not ‘written’ because versions of many of the stories were […]

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Tolstoy – novelist and anarchist

‘We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.’ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, also known as Leo Tolstoy, was born on 9 September 1828 to a family of old Russian nobility. Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, known as ‘Sonya’ in 1862 and […]

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Suspending disbelief with Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan died on 25 July 1834. Europeana contains a great collection relating to Coleridge, from a variety of sources including institutions in the UK, Germany and Poland. Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher, a friend of poet William Wordsworth, […]

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European Literature Night

15 May is European Literature Night and events are happening across the continent – check out what’s going on where you are. The  concept, according to the official European Literature Night website, is ‘One night – many experiences: public readings of contemporary literature performed by well known personalities at attractive and unusual venues in cities […]

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The Book and the Bard

It’s no surprise that if you search for Shakespeare on Europeana, you get back quite a lot of results, in more than 20 languages. Shakespeare wrote, amongst other things, 38 plays and 154 sonnets. He also invented 1,700 words including ‘eyeball’, ‘fashionable’ and ‘lonely’! ‘William Shakespeare: profile.’ Drawing, c. 1793.Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted work […]

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Your World Poetry Day Poet: Federico Garcia Lorca

In our latest Facebook poll, in honour of World Poetry Day, you voted Spanish writer Federico García Lorca as your favourite poet. In second place was William Shakespeare and in joint third, Walt Whitman and Polish Nobel prize winner, Wisława Szymborska. Whilst at university, the drama society I was part of put on one of […]

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Where would the Oscars be without European literature?

Last night saw the ever glamorous Academy Awards, or Oscars, take place in Hollywood. This year – the awards’ 85th –  saw many nominations for two films derived from  great works of European literature: Les Misérables and Anna Karenina. Les Misérables, which was up for ‘Best Picture’, is based of course on French novelist Victor […]

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Francis Bacon, Shakespeare and Secret Societies

Sir Francis Bacon, first Viscount of St Albans,  was born on 22 January 1561. He is well-known for his contribution to science. In fact, science and research is what it is today because of Bacon. The methodology of science and research, something we may not even think about as having an origin, of ever not […]

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Cicero: greatness and a grisly end

January 3rd marks the anniversary of the birth in 106BC of a man called Marcus Tullius Cicero. I have to admit that prior to today, I had only heard the word Cicero mentioned in the context of the song ‘Cell Block Tango’ from the musical Chicago. In the song, though, it refers to the city Cicero, […]

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Nobel Prizes 2012: Literature

The winners of the 2012 Nobel prizes are being announced this week. So each day, we’re looking to see what Nobel-related content we have in Europeana. Today, we congratulate Mo Yan on winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. Follow @NobelPrize_org on Twitter for the latest info! However, if you’re wondering who the first winner of the […]

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Celebrating Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë, author of classic novel Wuthering Heights was born on this day in 1818. Portrait of Emily Brontë by her brother, Branwell. Public Domain image. Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings. Sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne were all writers. Their first volume of poems was published under the pseudonyms Currer […]

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All for one and one for all!

210 years ago this week (on July 24th 1802 to be exact), Alexandre Dumas, the writer of classic adventure novels The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers was born. Dumas was the grandson of a French nobleman and a Haitian slave, and was born into poverty. Les Mousquetaires, drame d’Alexandre Dumas et Auguste […]

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Dear Diary… Is there still a place for you?

Image by incurable_hippie, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License. Today, 6th July, marks the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank’s family going into hiding in their Secret Annex at 263 Prinsengracht, Amsterdam. 13-year-old Anne had been writing her now-famous diary for less than a month. Her work, which has sold over 31 million […]

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Man of Letters: Manuel José Quintana

Manuel José Quintana was a Spanish patriot and neoclassical poet born on April 11th 1772 in Madrid. He is one of the most important names in Spanish Literature during the transition from Enlightenment to Romanticism. Quitana  was at the forefront of liberal ideas in politics and advocated his ideologies through his work until his death in […]

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