Quote of the Week: 30 October

Some genuine questions for Shakespeare-deniers, prompted by Ivor Brown’s labour of love …

BH ivor brownIvor Brown, Shakespeare (The Reprint Society: London, 1951)

This was a real find, as I’m discovering, at £1 from a second-hand bookshop in North Wales.

Brown has a wonderful writing style, self-deprecating and witty, subtly acerbic at times.  In this book he reminds me of an English (although to be precise he was born in Penang) version of Bill Bryson.

He freely admits that there is simply no need for yet another book on Shakespeare, but that it is a labour of love.  I think I feel the same way.

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Crimes Against Shakespeare 008

WE CANNOT, MUST NOT, WIPE ART WITH ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES BEFORE ALLOWING THE NEXT GENERATION TO HANDLE IT …

BH CSF blinding of Gloucester
‘Out, vile jelly’:  the blinding of Gloucester …

I took this picture – from King Lear – at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival back in 2012.  I often show it to pupils who try to tell me that Shakespeare is ‘boring‘.  Or indeed I give them some of the plot details from Titus Andronicus that have caused such concern of late …

It’s taken me a little while to allow this one to sink in to the extent that it became a ‘crime’, but in the Dock, ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, I give you no less than the English Faculty of Cambridge University (or at least some members of that august institution) …

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Quote of the Week: 23 October

Christ, this is IT […] THIS is why I do it.  All of it.

BH the summing upW. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up (Penguin:  London, 1992)

Today’s post is all about one simple fact: the world-wide-web existed centuries before the Internet.  Before electricity, in fact.  And I want you to plug into it.

I find it apposite, and slightly ironic that writing about Shakespeare, and without any deliberate choice on my part – I promise you – I’m listening to the Tron Legacy soundtrack as I type this.  My other literary love is Science Fiction, and again, the point I’m making relates to that intoxicating cocktail of the 16th and 26th centuries, with a dash of the present thrown in.

So, the pre-internet web …

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Hay Spiel Chequer Lessen …

Stewed-ants, too-daze lessen his a bout de weighs inn witch spiel-chequers cant bee deep-ended own.

BH weakish speller

I dedicate this to all the Y12 and Y13 students whose typed submissions I am marking at the moment.  You deserve something in return for the frequent face-palms and occasional belly-laughs you are giving me …

Hay Spiel-Chequer Lessen.

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‘Dews of blood’: Hurricane Ophelia, 16 October 2017

BH ophelia 2Working in a school, of course I met several people who seemed genuinely frightened by the eerie sky that only half-illumined our collective journey to work on Monday – some, only some, of them were pupils …

Conditions really were awe-inspiring up here in the frozen North of England.

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To buy, or not to buy …

lego_WS_firestar

Students, people who know me, or indeed regular visitors will know I have a bit of a fetish for Lego

Just to be clear, I don’t play with it, but I do collect some of the minifigures, photograph them – sometimes for classroom posters, or just because I generally like them.  My Schemes of Work for school, like the one on Conan Doyle‘s The Sign of Four, is full of Lego pics.  I buy plenty of minifigures.

Imagine, though, the situation …

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Crimes Against Shakespeare 007

BH hiddleston hamlet

Alas, poor Shakespeare fans …

In the dock for my latest Crime Against Shakespeare we find Kenneth Branagh and RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).

Picture the scene (if you pardon the pun) …

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