I’m currently reading …

BH The-Princes-in-the-Tower-by-Alison-Weir

Alison Weir, The Princes In The Tower (The Folio Society, London: 1992)

w/c 17 July 2017

Richard of Gloucester was typical of the magnates of the period: acquisitive, hungry for wealth, land and power, brave in battle, tough, ruthless, energetic, and keenly interested in warfare, heraldry, and the manly pursuits such as hunting and hawking.

Read the full post for previous QUOTE OF THE WEEK entries …


Francis Edwards
, The Gunpowder Plot (The Narrative of Oswald Tesimond alias Greenway)  
(The Folio Society, London: 1973)

w/e 16 July 2017

“Prodigious elements, which only make the tale less acceptable to us, had the opposite effect on readers of that time.  The miraculous was freely, and indeed, uncritically admitted as a part of even the most prosaic political occasions.’

This feels like an important contribution to any situation where the contextual superstition of the Elizabethan and Jacobean audiences needs to be taken into account.  Think about it, sixth formers in particular!

Quote of the week (w/e 11 June 2017):  Francis Edwards, The Gunpowder Plot (The Narrative of Oswald Tesimond alias Greenway)  (The Folio Society, London: 1973)

‘However unreasonable it may have been, I trust that anyone who reads the following account will see quite clearly that it was the damnable mistake of only a few individuals.  Furthermore, it must be blamed only on to those who have already paid the price.  In no sense should it be ascribed to any other particular persons, and still less to the catholic community.’

Plus, of course, this month’s Pony Tail Shakespeare text …

Quote of the week (w/e 07 May 2017):  Gãmini Salgãdo, The Elizabethan Underworld  (The Folio Society, London: 2006)

an efficient hangman was expected to cut down the body while it was still alive, open the victim’s belly, pull out his entrails and show them to him before his eyes closed in death.

Previously on this page:

w/e 30 Apr 2017: Gãmini Salgãdo, The Elizabethan Underworld  (The Folio Society, London: 2006)

As for the behaviour of the [church] congregation, this seemed to have been little different from their behaviour in a playhouse – they drank, spat, heckled the preacher, and swore with little regard to their surroundings.  What was important about the Catholic Church seems to have been not so much its official doctrine, but its claims to powerful magic.

w/e 23 Apr 2017:  Philip Ziegler, The Black Death (The Folio Society, London: 1997)

When ignorant men are overwhelmed by forces totally beyond their control and their understanding it is inevitable that they will search for some explanation within their grasp. When they are frightened and badly hurt then they will seek someone on whom they can be revenged. […] What was needed, therefore, was a suitable target for the indignation of the people, preferably a minority group, easily identifiable, already unpopular, widely scattered and lacking any powerful protector.

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