QotW (#088): 07 October 2019

peacock-display
This little thing?  Oh, I picked it up at TK Maxx …

You ought to know me by now, after almost 4 years and not far off 400 posts …

Not overly-blessed with common sense (as my Dearest Partner of Greatness) would confirm; prone to flights of giddy excitement, silliness even; with a pretty good memory for quotations and an eye for intertextual connections; but usually sceptical when it comes to wild conspiracy theories, especially about Shakespeare.

So I want to be clear that this is not one of the latter.

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[book review] Thomas Cogswell, James I: The Phoenix King

cover cogswellThomas Cogswell, James I: The Phoenix King (Penguin Monarchs), (London:  Allen Lane, 2017)

Thomas Cogswell’s biography is recognisably one of the Penguin Monarchs series.  That means it’s concise (just 109 pages) and informative; a good general introduction to the king who succeeded Elizabeth. For those studying Shakespeare or the Early Modern period, the information about James’ early life is useful and potentially revealing.

It’s also often neglected.

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[book review] Laura Ashe, Richard II: A Brittle Glory

cover asheLaura Ashe,  Richard II:  A Brittle Glory (Penguin Monarchs), (London:  Penguin, 2017)

With a particular connection to Shakespeare’s play about Richard, and a few Penguin Monarchs already under my belt, I’d really hoped for something special from this book.

I was disappointed.

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QotW (#87): 02 September 2019

… and we’re back to school today, for another year’s fun and games.

Cue all kinds of traffic on Twitter and elsewhere on-line: pre-battle speeches from the veterans; advice sought by the newbies, and given by the self-styled ‘influencers’; new teaching-year resolutions declared; virtue-signalling pictures of classroom displays, and so on …

Have I got anything to add to the Babel? Not really.  I’d rather chat about Literature …

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[book review] Helen Castor, Elizabeth I: A Study in Insecurity

cover castorHelen Castor, Elizabeth I: A Study in Insecurity (Penguin Monarchs Series), (London:  Penguin, 2018)

Helen Castor is – perhaps despite the title – sensibly objective in this short (117 pages) but useful biography of Elizabeth. Early on, she admits that the queen was almost unknowable to her subjects and rivals, let alone to us from a distance of over 300 years.
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Forensic Friday #019: 1HIV IV.i

 

northern lights gif

It seems I’m not alone in placing the Northern Lights at or near the top of my (fairly small) bucket list.  Some of my strongest, and most content, memories are of nights spent looking upwards at the indescribable grandeur and beauty of the universe (I highly recommend this corner of Reddit you need a regular fix of infinity, by the way).

Imagine how travellers in earlier ages would have tried to express seeing the Northern Lights when they returned home.  That’s where I’m headed today … considering how we describe the indescribable …

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[book review] Robert Hutchinson: House of Treason

cover HUTCHINSONRobert Hutchinson, House of Treason:  The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Dynasty, (London:  Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009)

Never mind, DBDDBS*, Robert Hutchinson gives us ample material for a new mnemonic in his account of various generations of the hapless Howard Dynasty.

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