Most Haunted…?

Chateau d’Hérouville*, once favoured by the biggest British recording artists including Elton John (the French chateau inspired the name of his ‘Honky Chateau’ album), The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie, has been put up for sale this month. But it wasn’t just the musical great and good that frequented this French chateau.

According to David Bowie, the Chateau d’Hérouville was haunted, and by none other than the ghost of Frédéric Chopin, who is said to have lived at Hérouville with his mistress. Bowie even refused to sleep in the master bedroom, due to the strange energy of the Chateau.

But why cross the Channel for a spot of ghost-hunting, when here in Britain we have such a wealth of spooky places for you to explore! Where the Ghosts Walk by Peter Underwood is the culmination of a lifetime’s work from the UK’s leading authority on the paranormal. The book is a thorough guide to places across Britain where ghosts have been seen outside – that is, public places, not buildings or private houses, or French chateaux.

If you’re after famous names, you can discover the ghost of Anne Boleyn in the grounds of Hever Castle in Kent and Napoleon at Lulworth Cove. You can also find screaming figures in Norfolk at Castle Rising, Kings Lynn, and at the Shrieking Pits in Aylmerton… and if you’re lucky you might even find a ghost train in Dunphail, Scotland.

So instead of heading to France, take a ghostly tour of the British Isles under the expert guidance of Peter Underwood.

Where the Ghosts Walk cover*You can read more about the Chateau d’Hérouville on the Guardian website.

Friday Freebie!

Well, we told you it was on the way, and now it’s here.

Lorna Robinson has written a teacher’s guide to accompany her new book Telling Tales in Latin, which is now available for you to download for free! The guide contains lesson ideas and activities, translations of all Latin text, running OCR Entry Level Latin vocabulary for each chapter as well as practice sheets which are based on OCR Entry Level requirements.

All through August Telling Tales in Latin is available for the bargain price of £1.19 on Kindle, so why not take advantage of the offer and pick it up, along with a copy of the Teacher’s Guide for free to go with it?

To find out more about Telling Tales in Latin, visit the Souvenir Press website. To download a copy of the Teacher’s Guide, take a look at the Iris Project website.

Telling Tales in Latin

Recent news for Telling Tales in Latin

The Iris Project awarded the EU Language Label 2013

“This project provides an opportunity for young children to be introduced to Latin, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds and who may not have the opportunity to find out about Latin at any other time of their school career.  The teaching I saw was excellent, based on an exciting programme designed by the Iris project.  In my long career (primary) I have not seen children identifying, analysing and discussing grammar at such a high level as I saw at St. Saviours.”

Stephen Addis review in full

“Congratulations to Lorna Robinson who has produced a real masterpiece, which brings the subject to life.”

E-book offer: Telling Tales in Latin

As part of the Amazon Kindle Summer deals, Telling Tales in Latin by Lorna Robinson will be available for the bargain price of £1.19 throughout August.

An exciting new Latin course and storybook for children, it brings Latin to life with its captivating stories taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and narrated by Ovid himself, combined with the lively, fun illustrations by Soham De.

What have the reviews been saying so far?

“Really inviting and engaging, with clear explanations and beautiful and fun illustrations by Soham De… an inviting, absorbing, and embracing learning experience. Young students new to the language will enjoy themselves, and love their learning, both of Latin and classical mythology, and be inspired to learn more. It’s a beautiful beginners’ book, the like of which most of us never had in the past, and I look forward to its success and the love that its students will have for it in years to come.” – The Classics Library

“This would be an excellent choice of text to teach children aged 9 and upwards the rudiments of Latin, and as the book has all the vocabulary needed for the OCR exam, it is a very versatile text indeed.” – The Garden Window blog

“‘Telling Tales in Latin’ will delight all who read it… This little book focuses excellently on the importance of literacy and language and makes it a superb and stimulating introduction to learning Latin… It is one of the best Latin course books currently available and will undoubtedly prove to be a great success, particularly with younger children. Congratulations to Lorna Robinson who has produced a real masterpiece, which brings the subject to life.” – Stephen Addis

And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Lorna Robinson is in the process of putting together a Teacher’s Guide to Telling Tales in Latin, which will be available for free through the Iris Project website. We’ll be letting you know when the Teacher’s Guide is available, so if you’re interested keep checking back here!

Telling Tales in Latin

Telling Tales in Latin: A Review

Stephen Addis, a retired Classics teacher with 36 years’ experience of teaching Classics in state and independent schools, has recently reviewed Telling Tales in Latin by Lorna Robinson, and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his review in full here on our blog. Stephen taught Classics for 32 years as Head of Department, and since retiring teaches as part of the University of the Third Age. He has a  BA Honours Degree in Classics from Bristol University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the School of Education, University of Bristol.

Read his review in full below, or on Amazon, where he rated it five stars out of five.

‘Telling Tales in Latin’ by Lorna Robinson is a new and exciting Latin course published by Souvenir Press. The Roman poet Ovid serves as the storyteller and his chatty, lively style will appeal to students of all ages from the outset.

A selection of mythological stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses forms the basis of the Latin text. The grammatical material and vocabulary cover the requirements of the OCR Entry Level qualification in Latin, making this course the only one which currently caters for this prescription.

From Chapter 1, students are encouraged to see and also to work out for themselves the connections between Latin and English derivatives, some of which will prove to be rather thought provoking, but will help to extend pupils’ knowledge and understanding of English vocabulary.

Each chapter follows a similar format, namely a brief introduction, the myth itself with helpful vocabulary, a clear explanation of the new grammatical point being studied and excellent suggestions for further activities.

Pupils are introduced to the most important areas of Latin grammar so that they can see how the structure of the language works. Verb tenses which are covered include the Present, Imperfect and Perfect with clear definitions of each. The four conjugations, termed ‘groups’, with their infinitives, are outlined. If any form of a Perfect tense verb is different, it appears each time in the vocabulary. Two very common irregular verbs (sum and possum) in the Present tense only are given, which Ovid calls ‘wild verbs’. Nouns (Masculine, Feminine and Neuter) in the first three declensions are given which are again referred to as ‘groups’ with explanations of subject and object rather than the use of Nominative and Accusative, although the term the ‘Dative’ is actually used and explained and reference is also made to it being the indirect object in the clause. The agreement of adjectives is covered as are question words including – ne. Imperatives, prepositional uses, phrases of time and superlatives are all glossed in the vocabulary. Every grammatical structure is explained in a concise and lucid way in Ovid’s inimitable style.

The book contains superb colourful illustrations either on every page or double page by Soham De which will help to enhance the students’ appreciation and enjoyment of each mythological tale.

The ‘Activities’ section at the end of all the chapters will provide students and teachers alike with a wealth of opportunities to explore the appeal of mythology in many different ways. Suggestions cover such areas as thinking about how myths might contain morals, personal responses, creative writing, drama activities, artwork and illustrations and reasons why the theme of metamorphosis has captured the imaginations of artists, sculptors and writers. Readers are encouraged to consider the enduring appeal of these tales and how they can relate to important modern ideas including relationships with other people and looking after the planet. Teachers will easily be able to develop cross-curricular links with many other subjects.

There are some errors which need to be corrected before the next print, the most serious being ‘currus’ termed a group 2 noun on page 63, but these can easily be remedied and will not detract from the reader’s enjoyment of the text.

‘Telling Tales in Latin’ will delight all who read it both visually and from its rich selection of tales. This little book focuses excellently on the importance of literacy and language and makes it a superb and stimulating introduction to learning Latin. Students will be inspired to explore more of Ovid’s stories and their enjoyment of Latin will be increased greatly. It is one of the best Latin course books currently available and will undoubtedly prove to be a great success, particularly with younger children. Congratulations to Lorna Robinson who has produced a real masterpiece, which brings the subject to life.

Thank you to Stephen Addis for allowing us to reproduce his review here in full.

Telling Tales in Latin

Baby name trends hark back to Edwardian era

According to a recent article in The Times, the current craze in baby names harks back to the Edwardian era, with names inspired by nature such as Daisy and Ruby popular for girls, and names with historical military significance such as Harold (Harry) and Alfred (Alfie) making a comeback. In the current top 10 most popular baby names for each gender, seven out of the twenty names listed are from this era, showing that while there is a desire for the unique and unusual (like North West) the appeal for the traditional remains.

Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is a baby name book like no other: as well as providing the origins and meaning of over 500 baby names, it also includes for each one a personal and individual name prayer in the acrostic format. It is the ideal book for prospective parents as they choose a name for their son or daughter; these name prayers can be used at christenings as a gentle affirmation of the connection between your new baby and God. These prayers can also be used at confirmations, weddings, and as your child moves through the important stages of their life.

Take a look at the prayers for a few of the Edwardian-inspired current top 10 baby names:

Amelia

All the days of your life,
May God bless you,
Encourage and equip you,
Lead and enlighten you,
Instruct and inspire you,
And accompany you always.

Lily

Lord, grant Lily your love, peace and purity,
In all she thinks and says and does.
Let her remain always in your protection,
Your guidance and your care.

Harry

Heavenly Father,
As you raised your son from death,
Raise Harry from every fall,
Renew in him each day and year
Your Easter life and peace and joy.

Alfie

As high as the highest star you can see,
Longer than the days of your life,
Further than the furthest place you will go,
In depth deeper than the deepest sea,
Even so may God’s love for you be.

Naming And Blessing coverName prayers taken from Naming and Blessing, © Andrew Tawn 2010. Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is published by Souvenir Press.

Author Corner: Jena Pincott on the Surprising Science of Pregnancy

The latest post in our Author Corner comes from Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The book explores the weird and wonderful science of pregnancy – the why rather than the how-to, and is a fascinating must-read for curious mums- and dads-to-be.

 Her guest blog post tackles 12 old wives’ tales about pregnancy, including morning sickness, baby brain and labour pain. All these and more can be found in her new book Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? which is available now from Souvenir Press in hardcover, paperback and as an e-book.

 Science vs. Pregnancy Myths

Science tackles 12 old wives’ tales about pregnancy.  Guess which ones endure?

Myth #1: Girls steal their mothers’ beauty:  False. You might even argue that being pregnant with a girl enhances your beauty! Statistically speaking, women carrying girls have more sex during pregnancy than those carrying boys.  Our breasts also grow larger when carrying a girl than a boy.

Myth #2:  You’re eating for two. Not really. You’re actually eating for 1.1.  Even in third trimester, this means eating only, say, three bananas more daily than you would pre-pregnancy.

Myth #3:  You’ll crave dirt and clay.  Possibly true. The scientific explanation: Clay seals the stomach — and, in the past, may have helped to protect mother and foetus from toxins, bacteria, and viruses.

Myth #4: Basketballs are boys, watermelons are girls:  False.  Truth is, your belly can be both a basketball and a watermelon during different phases of the pregnancy.  If you’re pregnant with your first child, you’ll carry higher for longer into the pregnancy because the ligaments holding up the baby are tighter.

Myth #5: Girls make us sicker than boys:  Somewhat true.  A hormone called hCG contributes to pregnancy sickness. Generally speaking, female foetuses put out higher levels of hCG than do male foetuses.

Myth #6: More babies come out on a full moon.  False. The full moon doesn’t trigger labour, according to multiple studies that track births and the lunar calendar. (Note:  Nor are more loony people admitted to psych wards at this time.)

Myth #7:  You can induce your own labour.  Mostly false. In studies, most home-induction remedies such as walking, sex, spicy foods, castor oil haven’t had any significant effect on triggering labour.  BUT there is limited evidence that nipple stimulation (breast pumping) helps the process along if you’re already close to going into labour naturally.

Myth #8: The Chinese birth calendar accurately predicts gender.  False. Multiple studies have shown that when it comes to predicting gender, the Chinese birth calendar is no more accurate than flipping a coin.

Myth #9: Babies look like their fathers.  Not necessarily.  Of course some do, but this doesn’t happen as a rule. The strange thing is that we really think babies often look like their dads— possibly because fathers favour look-alikes. From an evolutionary perspective, this may have reduced the risk of infanticide.

Myth #10: Pregnancy is a turn-off for men. Nope. To the contrary, some studies find that men are generally as attracted or more attracted to their wives during pregnancy than beforehand. While couples may not have sex as often as before (expectant fathers may have a lower sex drive), pregnancy is not the turn-off they fear. From an evolutionary perspective, the pregnant woman benefits from her mate’s support, and sex helps couples bond.

Myth #11:  You’ll forget all about the pain.  Maybe. There’s a 50/50 chance that, five years from now, you’ll think labour pains were less painful than they felt at the time.  Only a small percentage of women look back at their labour pain and remember it as worse than they felt at the time.

Myth #12:  You’ll get pregnesia.  Probably. Many (but not all) studies find that pregnant women experience difficulty storing and retrieving memories. This may be due to hormones or the foetus diverting resources to grow her own brain. While your visual memory is intact (in fact, your ability to recognize and remember faces is better than ever), your ability to remember to do what you  say you’re going to do, or recall a name or street address, may be impaired.   Women carrying girls may be especially afflicted.

chocolate-lovers-jena-pincott

 

Literacy Through Latin wins the EU Language Label 2013

We were delighted to learn last week that the Literacy Through Latin project, run by The Iris Project (founded by Lorna Robinson, author of Telling Tales in Latin) has been awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for innovative language teaching projects.

The European Label is an award that encourages new initiatives in the field of teaching and learning languages, rewarding new techniques in language teaching. By supporting innovative projects at a local and national level, the Label seeks to raise the standards of language teaching across Europe. Each year, the Label is awarded to the most innovative language learning projects in each country participating in the scheme.

A judge visited St Saviour’s school in Brixton where the Literacy Through Latin project – and Telling Tales in Latin – was in use in the classroom, to see it in action, and reported:

“This project provides an opportunity for young children to be introduced to Latin, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds and who may not have the opportunity to find out about Latin at any other time of their school career.  The teaching I saw was excellent, based on an exciting programme designed by the Iris project.  In my long career (primary) I have not seen children identifying, analysing and discussing grammar at such a high level as I saw at St. Saviours.”

Lorna Robinson, author of Telling Tales in Latin and founder of the Iris Project was delighted with the news:

“I’m completely over the moon at the news that the Literacy through Latin project has won this prestigious award. The judge who visited St Saviours school in Brixton was delighted at the pupils’ enjoyment of Latin. We have been teaching using our Telling Tales in Latin book at St Saviours and the pupils’ reactions to it have been very positive indeed.”

Congratulations to Lorna and the whole team at The Iris Project on being awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for their Literacy Through Latin programme. To find out more, visit the Iris Project website, or order a copy of Telling Tales in Latin today.

Telling Tales in Latin