Our revels now are ended … Class of ’19

boat sunset

Occasionally, teacher good luck messages and the valedictories get a bit mawkish or twee (and wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’m probably as guilty of this as others).  That said, I still want to write one for my Y13s.

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QotW (#77): 20 May 2019

elizabeth essex film poster

When you teach Richard III you almost inevitably touch on the idea that ‘history is written by the winners’, as Orwell said in 1944 (and again, of course, so horrifically in Nineteen Eighty-Four). [a]

Who were victorious over Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex in the end?  Would he have recognised the history they wrote for him?

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[book review] Tracy Borman: The Private Lives of the Tudors

borman tudors cover

 

Tracy BormanThe Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty (Hodder & Stoughton: London, 2016)

A salutary warning for would-be 21st-century celebrities?

Francis Bacon calls it correctly, as he so often does:

Men in great place […] have no freedom; neither in their persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times. It is a strange desire, to seek power and to lose liberty: or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man’s self. [a]

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QotW#76: 13 May 2019

bird fights snake
“… though she be but little, she is fierce”  A Midsummer Night’s Dream (III,ii)

Poor Isabella.

Not just married to Edward II.  Not simply denounced by history as the ‘She Wolf of France‘.  As if all that wasn’t enough, she was relegated to a footnote in last week‘s QotW.

It’s her turn.  Be afraid.

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How to … write a conclusion

godbyes
“Goodbye (sniff): I loved your essay so much I read it twice!”

If beginnings feel tricky (until you read this, naturally), then signing off an essay can feel just as daunting, and it’s equally important.  Faced with the time pressure of writing an additional half paragraph of analysis only to finish mid-

 

-sentence, or writing a strong conclusion, I know which one I’d choose every time.

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How to … write an introduction

readiness is all
‘the readiness is all’  Hamlet V.ii

It’s that time of year again.

OCR A Level English Literature (paper 1):  Thursday, 23 May, 13:30hrs

AQA GCSE English Literature (paper 1):  Wednesday, 15 May, 13:30hrs

as well as mocks for Y10 and Y12 students … and the most daunting thing of all is starting your answer. (For tips on how to end your essay, click here)

“Do I need an introduction?  Why?  What should be in it?”

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QotW (#75): 06 May 2019

trafficking

Last week’s pre-exam discussions with Year 13 looked again at how we might adopt a Feminist critical stance to our exam texts.  The fabled AO5, I hear OCR students gasp …

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