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Teesside novelist Pat Barker (a female ‘Pat’) is perhaps best known for her Regeneration Trilogy, which is set in the First World War and follows the lives of men deeply affected by shellshock. For a reader who follows Barker, her first novel, Union Street, can be regarded as an overture to this author’s strong ability to write in a mesmerisingly addictive style to achieve graphic and horrific accounts of real events. Union Street is, like Regeneration, firmly rooted in historical events. The novel set in the North East (and in an unspecified town, possibly in Durham or York) at the…

Shortly before 1818, a group of Romantic poets and writers travelled from Britain to Geneva. The party included Mary Wollstonecraft Goodwin (later Mary Shelley), Percy Bysshe Shelley (later the husband of Mary) and Lord Byron. Finding themselves in the Swiss Alps and thick snow, what better way to spend an evening in such an idyllic setting than…a disgusting novel-writing competition?! Yes. The Romantics decided to hold a competition to see who could compose the most grotesque and repugnant work. Under Byron’s and Percy Shelley’s view that a woman may not up to the job of writing morbidly, Mary Shelley unabashedly…

Please note the time of going to press: February 2012. The Brontës- a sisterhood of gothic writers.   The daughters of a solemn Irish reverend, the three sisters grew up at the family home based in Haworth, Yorkshire, although the extended family remained on the Emerald Isle. The Brontës wrote in a time before women could vote and many worked as scullery maids who would be fortunate to earn £6 a year. The educated trio of sisters attended a school for the children of less wealthy clergy members and their love and ability for writing began as a childhood game.…

In light of BEDS’ (Bangor English Drama Society) recent-and fantastic- production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Rosie MacLeod takes a look at the historical context of the play’s writing. Raphael Holinshed produced a factual work known as ‘Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland’, which served as a valuable and fruitful point of reference for William Shakespeare; he used it as a source of inspiration and historical accuracy for many of his plays. These ‘Chronicles’ reveal that the killing of King Duncan, the central plotline in Macbeth, is based on fact. WHEN SHALL WE THREE MEET AGAIN? IN 1603, UNDER A COMMON REIN.…

2012 was Charles Dickens bicentenary year. This year, following heavy renovation, his house has been reopened, fulfilling great expectations. Museum: The Charles Dickens Museum. The museumised house Charles Dickens once inhabited. Where?: 48, Doughty Street, Camden Town, London. WC 1N 2LX. Getting there: The nearest underground station is Russell Square (Piccadilly Line), although Chancery Lane (Central Line) also provides a direct walk to the museum. Entry Fee: £6 concessions, £8 non-concessions. Charles Dickens lived at number 48 Doughty Street from 1837 until 1839. There, he wrote ‘The Adventures of Oliver Twist’ and ‘The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’, which…

IN ESSENCE OF THE SEREN 90s NIGHT, HERE IS A GUIDE TO THE MUSEUMS OF 90s BRITAIN. BY AN ANTIQUE THAT SURVIVES FROM THE DECADE. BY ROSIE MACLEOD. A study revealed that the 1990s were a healthy time for museums in the UK. Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993) was perfect publicity for The Natural History Museum’s dinosaur-infested ‘Blue Zone’ and all the unforgettable hype that accompanied the development of the Millennium Dome was a fine advert for sightseeing around Britain. The Natural History Museum became officially so-called as of 1992. Prior to then, it was named the ‘British Museum (Natural History)’,…

Introduction The end of the world. The apocalypse. The end of all living things. All terms we’ve seemingly had to get used to recently. With somebody seemingly predicting it every year, pop culture adopting it like ants on sugar or the media jumping all over it, it’s something that has been shoved in our face. In this feature, we’re not going to reassure you that it isn’t going to happen. In fact, we’re going to do the sheer opposite. These pages will be a look at how the world has ended in the past, how it could end tomorrow and…

North Wales Police are encouraging students to protect their mobile phones with a new online service. Immobilise is a free service which allows you to register your valuable items such as your mobile phone, iPod, sat nav, games console, laptop and camera. Registered items are put onto a database that allows the police to trace their owners if recovered. “We are urging all students to register their property, in particular items such as mobile phones onto the Immobilise database. It only takes a few minutes and if your property is stolen and later recovered, there is a greater chance of…

Religions all throughout history have had doomsday scenarios; prophecies and ideas about when, and how, the world would end. Isaac Newton, ever the polymath, even had his own prediction. Based upon his own readings of biblical events, he said that it would come to an end in 2060. My personal favourite is Ragnarok, mainly because it sounds like the ‘plot’ of a Michael Bay film. So what are the prophecies? What do they say will occur during the apocalypse? Here are three examples of religious views on the matter. Christianity The Book of Revelations is the grand finale of the…

‘Ello ello ello For new students, Welcome to Bangor! For returning students we hope you had a good summer break and are looking forward to a new year. I am Sergeant Robert Rands, and I have been based at Bangor for the past 2 years. Prior to that I have worked in Llandudno, Conwy and in the Police Headquarters in Colwyn Bay. Before joining the Police I studied for my BA in History and Archaeology at Bangor University, before completing my masters in Liverpool University and working for 2 years as an Archaeologist. I am delighted that you have chosen…

Last weekend Seren’s Deputy Editor, Rosie, went to hear Andrew Motion give a reading in Islington, London. Inspired, she’s put together a full feature on the great poet’s lifetime of work. Andrew Motion is a serious man, yet as his audience gathers he remarks how ideally he’d like his ‘Selected Works’ to consist ‘of about six poems’. He served as the poet Laureate between 1999 and 2009. He inherited the title from Ted Hughes and was succeeded by Carol Ann Duffy, a staple GCSE classroom favourite. His work is conspicuously punctuated with rural references, a product of his countryside childhood. As if…

In October 2010, Professor John Hughes left his role as President (equivalent of a VC) at the National University of Ireland to become Bangor University’s Vice-Chancellor. A lover of both Mathematics and Manchester United, Professor Hughes has worked hard to put his personal stamp on the University in the last two years. This month Seren’s Editor, LJ, met up with him to find out what his role actually involves and what he’s working on for us students. A lot of students have heard of you but are a little unsure what your role actually involves? The Vice-Chancellor is essentially the…

Here at Bangor Students’ Union, we’re committed to improving your time in Bangor. Now, this year’s NSS results highlight lots of areas for improvement, and we’ve been doing lots and lots of work with the University to make things better. As soon as the results came out, we identified areas where the most work was needed, and started speaking to key staff to make sure that issues were being taken seriously, but also that students were at the heart of any solution. In previous years, action plans have been written to try to make things better, but they often guessed…

Pontio is the company behind the Arts & Innovation centre due to be built in Bangor. According to their original schedule, we should be writing this article from inside Pontio right now, however, major set-backs have forced the site to remain a bed of rubble. In wake of the recent crane appearance at the building’s location, our editor, LJ Taylor, thought it a good time to have a catch-up with our old friends at Pontio. Interview with Elen ap Robert Elan ap Robert became Pontio’s first Artistic Director in April. Her role largely centres around developing and putting on a…

Whilst Movember might be a transient dip into facial hair for many, here are some professionals who are committed to their whiskers, and as a result leave our sense of masculinity all shredded and girly. Nick Cave Singer and frontman for the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Sports a southward-stretching vintage horseshoe moustache. Bourbon stained with hints of smoke and gunpowder, begging for a complementary Stetson. Not quite redneck, but instead elegant with a sultry allure- has probably destroyed many a happy marriage. Most Fitting Track: ‘Stagger Lee’ Frank Zappa Eccentric musician and singer known for his satirical lyrics and unique…

As part of Creative Corner, every week SEREN will look at the life of a famous artist. This week we turn to Lucian Freud. ———— Freud was born in Berlin on 8th December 1922, a grandson of famed neurologist Sigmund Freud. Alongside his Jewish parents, Freud moved to London in 1933 to escape the rise of Nazism, which would later take over the country during the Second World War. He studied briefly at London’s Central School of Art, before continuing his studies at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, Dedham, and later Goldsmith’s College from 42-43. The same…