Before the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the late 1530s, hundreds of monasteries and nunneries were founded across Great Britain. The Rule of St Benedict set out guidelines for their life, including the daily routine of prayer for both the living and dead.
The Bloomsbury group was a circle of artists, writers and intellectuals who embraced a culture of sexual equality and freedom, informality and fierce intellectual debate, largely at odds with their strict Victorian upbringings.
Thomas Hardy is famous for his novels of nineteenth century rural life. Rich in description and dialect, they are written museums of a vanished culture. Hardy set them in Wessex, an imaginary region mapped onto the geography of south and south-west England.
When Thomas Carlyle turned eighty in 1875, he received a birthday tribute from over one hundred eminent Victorians. Philosopher, historian, biographer, translator, novelist and essayist, he was hailed as the voice of the age.
Originating in Rome, the baroque was a cultural movement in Europe throughout the seventeenth century. Baroque style can be seen across many forms of art including painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature and theatre.
In Classical mythology, heroes were often the descendants of gods. The Italian Renaissance rediscovered the artistic appeal of such mythological figures, and this movement widely influenced British art and architecture from the sixteenth century onwards.
Mount Vesuvius forms an iconic backdrop to the Bay of Naples, Italy, and is one of Europe’s most active volcanoes. It is best known for an eruption in AD 79 that buried the Roman settlements of Pompeii and Herculaneum under metres of ash.