Asylum seekers were given the all-clear to return home this week after Britain buckled under the strain of the pandemic. The government extended the right to leave to those wanting to return to their country of origin, allowing a small group of refugees to leave the detention centers where they had spent the last few months.
One of the people able to leave the detention centers is Robert Pattinson. The actor and singer had sought refuge in England after fleeing the paparazzi in Hollywood. Although he was born in Englad, Pattinson has spent most of his life in Australia. He has an Aussie partner, Mia. She is the director of photography on his upcoming projects.
In light of these developments, it’s a good idea to revisit some of the most famous faces using English literature as a springboard. Let’s take a look at some incredible t-shirt designs which pay homage to some great British books and their memorable characters.
Dont Look Back (Orphan Annie)
In the 1922, the Great Depression lead to a rise in demand for practical jokes and pranks. One of the most famous stories from this era is Hilda Doolittle’s classic 1922 novella Orphan Annie. In it, the scatterbrained character is given the name Annie after the famous singing girl, singer and comedian Annie Fields. Annie’s best friend, Hannah, jokingly suggests that she change her name to Dont Look Back.
The name stuck and soon after, Annie adopted the moniker. The famous orphan eventually finds love with the man of her dreams, Alfred, an engineer. However, their budding romance is constantly interrupted by Annie’s sharp-tongued boss, Mr. Molineux. In one scene, Molineux even suggests that they switch places, as it would be more convenient for the both of them.
The story was hugely popular when first published and since, many people have tried to emulate Annie’s style and humor. In fact, the character inspired a jazz band named after her and a short-lived TV show of the same name. The character also made a cameo appearance in the 1938 movie The Man Who Lived Next Door. If you feel like you were cheated out of a childhood, then it’s time to reclaim your rightful place in literature with a t-shirt design that will have everyone laughing at your witty retort.
Pride And Prejudice (Lizzy Bennet)
The 19th century was a golden age of literature, with many popular works emerging from its prestigious list of bestselling novels. One of the most celebrated stories from this era is Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. If you’ve never heard of this novel or its author, then it’s time to remedy that as this is one of the most popular choices for students to reference when drafting their personal statements in English essays. The story centers on the wealthy Bennets, who are desperately trying to keep their lineage intact after Elizabeth’s ex-fiancé, Darcy, dumps her for a younger woman. In the end, everyone realizes that respectability is more important than true love.
The theme of Austen’s story is one which has been reiterated in popular culture many times over. Many films have been made about the book and its characters, with the 2005 version starring Keira Knightly and Rosamund Pike being a particular favorite of Robert Pattinson’s. If you need a good laugh, then put on your best Pride And Prejudice t-shirt and feel the angst of Lizzy Bennet, Elizabeth’s awkwardness and wit as she delivers one of the most famous closing lines in English literature: “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to practice my piano.”
Little Women (The March Sisters)
Jo March is the feisty and spirited protagonist of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Even though the novel was first published in 1868 and revolves around the lives of several young women during their formative years, many still identify with this spirited character. Little Women is the second of Alcott’s Cornhill novels, which were written when she lived in the United States, and was inspired by her own childhood. The novel follows the March sisters, led by their outspoken sister, Jo, who set out on a journey to America to seek their fortune.
One of the most famous scenes in Little Women is when Jo marches up to the receptionist at the B&M railroad building and demands to know where she can find work. This scene, which has become something of a symbol for working-class women in their struggle for women’s rights, was inspired by Alcott’s experience facing sexism while working as a writer for the New York Tribune. Later in the novel, Jo even sets up a meeting with Elizabeth Stanton, the founder of the American Bryant Society, who agrees to give her a Bryant pin in recognition of her achievements.
George Orwell’s 1984, which was first published in 1949, is a dystopian novel about a surveillance state in which every action is monitored by the state through Big Brother. As the novel’s narrator, Winston Smith, notes, “Everything you say, think, and do, is registered.. . . The great virtue of Big Brother is that it makes it very easy to be good. All you have to do is declare yourself so and the rest of the details take care of themselves.”
Orwell’s masterpiece is often cited as an inspiration for the dark, satirical fiction found in V for Vendetta and The Handmaid’s Tale. If you’ve never heard of Orwell’s work, or Big Brother, then it’s high time to rectify that as this novel is a great example of modern English literature and highly influential in shaping modern day speech and literature.
Wise Women (Three Penny Opera)
Another great novel from the golden era of English literature is Thomas Hardy’s Three Penny Opera. First published in 1889, the novel follows the escapades of the eponymous opera troupe as they struggle to entertain the locals with their tragicomic music. The story centers around four sisters, the Wise Women of Skirlington, who, despite their best efforts, cannot hold their own against the fast paced modern world. In the end, their idyllic English village is destroyed by a train, which, at the time, was a common way to destroy property in rural areas. The sisters are unable to fully recover from the tragedy and decide to leave off the happily ever after for their own safety. A memorable line from the book: “I am not surprised that you consider music the gift of harmony and beauty, for that is what it is – the most beautiful and harmonious of all the arts.”
Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones)
Bridget Jones’s Diary is the hilarious satire that parodies the modern feminist movement and its call for women’s rights. The novel follows the ups and downs of Bridget Jones, who is stuck in a loop of bad relationships and searching for meaning in her life. In the process, she discovers the joys of motherhood and has a chance encounter with the charismatic John Taylor, who becomes her eventual Mr. Right. If you’re looking for an antidote to the serious literature above, then look no further than the ultimate romantic comedy about a middle-aged woman trying to find love and happiness in Victorian London.
This novel will surprise you as much as it did when it was first published in 2001. While many saw it as a bawdy funny memoir about a feisty womanizer, it was originally conceived as a darker satire about the dangers of online dating. In fact, the novel was inspired by Harriet Taylor’s own unhappy experiences on the Internet. If you think the Internet is a harmless place, then think again as Bridget Jones’s diary is a wake-up call to the dangers of cyber-stalking and digital infidelity. It is one of the most important and influential romantic novels of all time and has paved the way for comedic novels about romantic frustration and longing.