Weekend Reading: Pick up a Penguin

It’s been another one of those crazy weeks – so if you’ve contacted me and I haven’t replied yet, I do apologise! I’ve been looking back over the long period of lockdown, and have come to the conclusion that I haven’t yet managed to have a single day, or even an evening, off yet. This has now become my highest goal in life. If I can manage to get through the huge (virtual) stack of assignments on my desk right now, I plan to take an entire day off. And on that day I will eat chocolate, watch frivolous TV and possibly even have a nap.

However, that day has not yet come. So, while I work, I’ve been finding things to amuse myself.

Let me introduce you (if you’ve somehow managed to miss it by doing things that are actually useful) to the Great Discovery of the Week, aka the Penguin Classics Cover Generator – simple but oh so addictive. Yes, now we can generate our own unlikely, ridiculous and downright impossible pseudo-Penguin book covers. Here are a couple of my own efforts:



…and some from Edinburgh University on Facebook…



The internet is truly a dangerous place, full of distractions for the unwary classicist.

This week (as you’ll know if you follow this website) I’ve been continuing with my Comfort Classics interviews – because honestly, they’re just so much fun to do! I got the chance to interview a couple of people whom I’ve met on Zoom but not in person: Armand D’Angour, who provided his own translation of a great poem, and Simon Pulleyn, whose appreciation of the Eclogues made me want to go back and reread, for the first time in a VERY long time, the non-Aeneid bits of Virgil! I heard from Valeria, one of my brilliant students, about her love of the Terme Boxer; and from one of my great MA group, Tom, about Epicurus and Ovid.

Do get in touch if you’d like to join in too!

I also got to interview the fabulously talented (he’s my brother-in-law, so I have to say nice things about him!) Professor Mirko Canevaro about comedy. Mirko tends to study the serious Greek stuff that I don’t really understand, so that was a nice change!

Comfort Classics has been attracting some attention of late. I will apparently be ‘featured’ in an OU newsletter next week; and there’s talk of recording a video too. So much potential for things to go horribly wrong there…! I’ll keep you updated on all the fun.

This week I was also officially announced as winner of the OU’s Recognition of Excellence in Teaching Award, in the ‘Excellence in promoting student engagement’ category, based mainly on the work I’ve done on this website over the last couple of years. No fancy award ceremony this year, sadly (shame – I had an outfit)! But there is a prize, which I might be able to use to develop the website a bit more… and there’ll be a video, which I sincerely hope that nobody ever sees!




Thanks, all of you, for making this website such a friendly and supportive corner of the internet! I don’t always get to reply to the comments in a timely fashion, but I do read them all – and I’m grateful for all your emails. And to the many new followers and readers who have drifted in this direction over recent weeks, a very warm welcome! At some point I’ll give you a proper tour of the website; but I need to tidy up first…!





This week from around the Classics Interweb




Boris and Persephone – Indy 100 

Aerial surveys from home – The Guardian 

Museum of the Bible scandal – The Atlantic 

Review of ‘Antigone Rising’ – The Guardian 

Live screening of Pompeii exhibition – The Evening Standard





Comment and opinion

Astronomical discoveries from ancient Greece – Live Science 

Plato’s neighbours – Roman Times

LJ Trafford on ancient help with lockdown – The History Girls

Amphitheatres and Vespasian – Ancient Origins 

Rome and the Danube – National Geographic

Classics in Hong Kong –KCL News

Mosaics in Britain – History Extra

The Fragility of Democracy – Classical Wisdom 

Rome in the 1st century – British Museum Blog


Narcissus 1



Podcasts, video and other media

Stoicism and its hype – Classical Wisdom Speaks 

Interview with Jody Cundy – Classics Confidential Shorts 

Frame drum – Object Narrative – Open Material Religion

Herodotus’ Croesus – Herodotus Helpline

Roman Mysteries on Amazon Prime – Amazon 

New Ovid movie – Ovid and the Art of Love 

Rome museums: a virtual tour – Joy of Museums 

Statue of Aphrodite – Exhibits in Minutes 

Aventine, Aventine – The Partial Historians

Post-Podius – I, Podius 

Make your own archaeological poo – Arbeia [welcome to my town, everybody!]



From Classical Studies Memes for Hellenistic Teens

4 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Pick up a Penguin

  1. Hi Cora Beth

    Congrats on the well-deserved Teaching Award – the enthusiasm you transmit as a tutor and through this website is contagious! Brilliant!

    Liked by 2 people

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