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Welcome to the Lit & Phil's Blog

This blog is to help us keep engaged with both our members and visitors. Our hope is to inform, entertain and possibly amuse you, offering at least some distraction from the current crisis. Don't forget to check our social media channels, too. We will do everything we possibly can to keep in touch.

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Shelley (at 200) in the Classroom

Keith Jewitt ponders the inconsistency between the way Percy Bysshe Shelley was presented to him as a grammar school student and the poets politically radical message.

Doddy didn’t invent diddy, did he?

Alan Beale on the etymology of diminutives and their roots in Latin

Picture of William Oxley

The Official Registers of the Angelic Order of Life

Spiritualism, mysticism and séances: Gail-Nina Anderson on the intriguing life and work of William Oxley

Painting of the Newcastle and Gateshead burning, view from the river of both sides

Book of the Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead

The mysterious origin and surprise revelation of a 'A Record of the Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead' 1854.

Photo of Iggy Pop

Literary Anniversaries of 2022

From Shelley to Larkin via the modernism of Eliot and Joyce, with a side order of punk rock,  Keith Jewitt celebrates some notable literary anniversaries for 2022 and wonders about The Next Big Thing.

Newcastle Central High School for girls

The First Women Vice-Presidents

Although women had been members of the Society almost from its earliest days, it wasn't until the early 20th century that they rose higher than being a member of the board. Following on from his blog about The Lit and Phil's first women committee members, member Paul Gailiunas gives the background to two of the Society's first women vice-presidents.

Ethel Williams

The Lit and Phil's first women committee members

The Lit and Phil has had women members for very many years. Long standing member Paul Gailiunas has delved into the archives and presents his research about some of the very first women committee members and gives something of their story and background.

Dante and Beatrice by Flaxman

Dante at 700 - Part 3

In this final part of his trilogy about Dante and his works, Keith Jewitt considers Beatrice - was he the love of Dante's life or was she an invention? she was certainly his muse and inspiration. An appropriate end to a fascinating series of blogs.


Ulisse Avvolto Dalla Sua Fiamma

Dante at 700 - Part 2

Keith Jewitt continues his exploration of Dante and The Divine Comedy touching on two of the most famous episodes - Paulo and Francesca who were murdered by Francesca's husband, and Ulysses who is explicitly on the receiving end of the wrath of Dante’s God. The Divine Comedy is never dull!

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