[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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PTS 015/097: Fool Me Once …

 

Boris-Johnson-1130972
‘Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong’ … (1HIV IV, iii)

PTS read-through: 1 Henry IV, Act IV

Today, let’s talk about serial liars, and those who promise much but deliver little, if anything …

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PTS 015/096: Gimme A Shot At The Title …

rocky apollo

PTS readthrough – 1 Henry IV:  Act III, scene ii

21 July 1403, Shrewbury.  Fifteen three-minute rounds for the Heavyweight Championship of England and Wales.  In the blue corner, the Percy Pounder, Harryyyyyyy Hotspur!  In the red, the Lancaster Lumper, Priiiiiiiiiiince Hal! Continue reading “PTS 015/096: Gimme A Shot At The Title …”

[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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PTS 015/095: Two Bravehearts Collide

Owain-Glyndwr
Owain Glyndŵr stirs the blood in Corwen, North Wales

PTS 015/095 1HIV Act III, scene i

When my Dearest Partner of Greatness (DPG) and I were discussing Trilogy Day at The Globe, THIS is the scene that prompted my suggestion she come along to this first play.  Curiosity mixed with mischief as I thought about her reaction to an English representation of the national hero, Owain Glyndŵr

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Trilogy Day at The Globe: 03 Aug 2019

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All the world’s a stage.  Image: me

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named (Henry V: IV,iii)

IF their legs are still working, that is.  Shakespeare’s Globe staged three plays last Saturday, and a ‘happy few‘ of us bought groundling tickets for the trilogy.  Here’s how I got on. [spoilers ahead]

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PTS 015/092: not MY leader …

evolution of Boris Steve Bell
image:  Steve Bell / The Guardian

It’s often said, often bitterly, that we get the leaders we deserve.  After all, ’we voted for them’, right?  Or at least broadly 100,000 have: in a population of 65-million-odd, way less than 1% have made Boris ‘Bolinbroke’ Johnson our Prime Minister.  Quite clearly ‘the will of the British people’ in the twenty-first century is a highly elusive and nebulous concept.

Right here, right now, the question of the type of leader we want, need, or deserve is as urgent as it has been since the end of the Second World War.  As is the debate about whether we prefer harsh truths or comforting lies …

Welcome to our latest stop on the Pony Tail Shakespeare read-through 1 Henry IV, Act I scene iii. Continue reading “PTS 015/092: not MY leader …”

PTS 015/091: The Man of a Thousand Faces

lon chaney
Lon Chaney jr trailblazes Bilbo Baggins, Sherlock Holmes, Pennywise, and Forrest Gump

1 Henry IV Act I scene ii is, really, all about that devastating soliloquy in which Hal channels Lon Chaney jr.

But before that, I want to have a word about … EXPOSITION.

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PTS 015/090: Crusade My Arse

henry iv jeremy irons

1 Henry IV:  Act I, scene i

It’s almost impossible to check in my earlier hostility to Henry Bolinbroke at the door; I take grim satisfaction at the suggestion that he’s ‘shaken’, or ‘wan with care’ as the play opens. [a]  He deserves it.

Not that I believe him …

Actually, looking back, I promised to crucify you (Henry) at the end of Richard II … OK, here goes.

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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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