‘A delightful society’ …

holinshedYou are holding in your hands one of the most interesting, influential – and readable – books in British history.

Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland have long been famous as the key source of Shakespeare’s history plays.  Given the role of Shakespeare’s view of Tudor history in shaping English nationalism, Holinshed’s long-term influence on British culture and English literature can hardly be overstated.  Michael Wood (intro), Holinshed Chronicles  (The Folio Society:  London, 2012)

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PTS 03/014: Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable …

BH Blanche Dubois
“Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable.  It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion and it is the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty.”  (BLANCHE:  A Streetcar Named Desire (scene 10), Tennessee Williams)

Henry VI part III: Act I

So …

Part III begins, as Part II ended, with Warwick, perhaps reinforcing his role as ‘kingmaker’, and with the suspicion – to be dealt with later, maybe – that Henry is a ‘Jonah’ on the battlefield.  Whoever’s side he appears on (note I don’t say ‘fights’ on) he seems to suck the fighting spirit out of the army like a Dementor whose puppy has just been killed in a hit-and-run accident …

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PTS 02/012: ‘A Necessary End’

BH death of suffolk

HENRY VI part II:  Act IV

‘death, a necessary end, will come when it will come’                                              (JULIUS CAESAR: Act II, sc ii)

subtitled: ‘The not very tragic or lamentable death of the serial rotter, Suffolk, and the deservedly doomed distraction caused by Cade.’

It’s not quite acts three or four of Antony and Cleopatra, but this act does get into double-figures in terms of scenes – something I find irritating as a reader, in a way that I don’t find when listening to or watching the plays. Still, basically, Act IV boils down into two episodes, as the subtitle suggests.

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PTS 02/011: Small curs are not regarded when they grin

BH dog surfboard
Subtitled:  You gonna bark all day, little doggy?  Or are you gonna bite?

Henry VI part II: Act III

‘Small curs are not regarded when they grin’ (QUEEN MARGARET III.i.18)

Act III starts where Act II left off: the smell of blood in the water; fins thrashing as a pack of ruthless hunters circle our hapless king; bites being taken from the already-doomed Gloucester.

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PTS 01/004: We need Talbots, not bastards …

bh-henry-vi-coronation
NO-ONE looks pleased by Henry’s coronation …

Henry VI 1:  Act III

Writing about this act has been an almost painful task.

It would have been too too easy to continue with the ‘Carry On Up the Dolphin’ theme I’d adopted for Act II, but I didn’t feel up to it, aside from referencing the incorrigible overfamiliarity of Charles:

Ay marry, sweeting, if we could do that,

France were no place for Henry’s warriors. (III.iii.21-2)

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The needs of the many …

bh-star-trek-wrath-of-khan

Happy Lupercalia, everyone.

A cheeky way of muscling in some commentary on one of my favourite plays, way ahead of SCHEDULE?  Perhaps.  I shouldn’t be discussing Julius Caesar (let alone Star Trek) until September 2018 …

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PTS01/003: Open your ears! For who could possibly block them when loud Rumour speaks?

bh-office-romance
Forget the English attack – are they doing it or not?

Henry VI 1: Act 2 the act with that scene …

No, not the one in the garden.  Surely, there’s only one thing worth talking about … in the words of Joe Jackson:

Is she really going out with him?

Is she really gonna take him home tonight?

Is she really going out with him?

Cause if my eyes don’t deceive me,

There’s something going wrong around here.

… are the Dolphin and La Pucelle an item or not?

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