London. Partly cloudy



London. Partly cloudy

London. Partly cloudy 1

November 22, 2013. London. 8ºC. Partly cloudy.

Why would one want to go for a walk in this city? Some may say “To enjoy Friday and to think of the coming weekend!” Others would mention the importance of practicing the English language. The connoisseurs of the British culture will head to the heart of London – Westminster Abbey.

Their main destination will be Poets’ Corner. This place found in the South Transept is known for burring or commemorating writers, poets and playwrights.

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It was not originally aimed for this purpose; the first poet to be buried here, Geoffrey Chaucer, was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey because he had been Clerk of Works to the palace of Westminster, not for his masterpiece The Canterbury Tales.

Some of the most famous to lie here include the poets John Dryden, Tennyson and the writers, including Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy.

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Those who have memorials here, although they are buried elsewhere, include the poets John Milton, William Wordsworth, the writers Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, sisters Bronte and many more.

It is a high honour for a writer, a poet or a musician to be commemorated at Poets Corner.

Are there any special reasons to visit this place on Friday afternoon? Sure! There are two of them.

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On the 22nd of November, on the 50th anniversary of his death, C.S. Lewis was the latest to join Poets Corner. He is the first author to be added to the Abbeys roster since Ted Hughes in 2011; as a rule, three or so names have been added each decade since the Second World War.

Lewis is best remembered for writing The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of books that has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first installment in the saga, was published in 1950 and has been adapted since for stage, TV and film. Other works by the Belfast-born novelist, essayist and literary critic include The Screwtape Letters, The Space Trilogy and the non-fiction titles Mere Christianity and Miracles. Lewis was also an outstanding teacher at Oxford. He had a reputation as one of the most educated people, he shared his knowledge with students, not only in class but also in live conversations that make up his book. He was buried in the yard of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, Oxford.

By the way, in Poets Corner a little plaque to commemorate Clive Staples Lewis is to be wedged between Betjeman and Blake.

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Another representative of the British culture who is commemorated in Westminster Abbey is Benjamin Britten, musician and composer.

On the 22nd of November, 2013 the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of Brittens birth. His music is said to reflect many different moods such as passion, love, calmness, joy or gentleness in a short piece. It is worth mentioning that the composer was born on the feast day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music.

Britten composed film scores, orchestral works and operas including the well-known Peter Grimes and Billy Budd. One of his most engaging works for children is the song collection Friday Afternoons.

Benjamin Britten was very attached to his homeland and suffered intense homesickness when being abroad. "I suddenly realized where I belonged and what I lacked...I had become without roots."

The first London performance of War Requiem by Britten was given in the Abbey and that is the second reason why every 22 November many people from all over the world come to celebrate the significant date of birth of the great composer.

Text prepared by Yekaterina Merkulova, Alyona Korchagina, Anna Martynova, students of the group 3LDL1.

Edited by Nadezhda Boguk, Head of the Department of Pedagogy and Methods of Teaching Languages.

29.11.2013

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1993-2022 .