[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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The hottest name in Literature …

apaches

Be warned:  today’s post has little to do with Shakespeare per se, except as an example of my own peculiar insanity, and a way of getting rid of an ‘ear-worm’ that has been plaguing me since May.

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[book review] Michael Bogdanov – Shakespeare: The Director’s Cut

cover bogdanovMichael BogdanovShakespeare : The Director’s Cut (Capercaillie Books:  Edinburgh, 2005)

As soon as I read the Introduction to Bogdanov’s book, I blogged excitedly about it – I sensed a kindred spirit: someone I would have enjoyed a boisterous, passionate debate with over a few drinks.

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The Boar’s Head Bookshelf update

bookshelf hand removing book

“A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot.”  Alan Bennett

This year my book buying AND reading have grown exponentially.

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Girdling the earth …

1595_vera_totius_hondius.jpg
A 1595 worldview, post Drake’s circumnavigation.

‘Most students away from these UK shores adore Shakespeare.

In his homeland, unless you catch them young, a dislike gets deep under the skin and stays engrained, enduring wind and weather.’ Ben Crystal [a]

Welcome to my world …

Claiming some kind of unanswerable ownership of Shakespeare based on his nationality is the last thing on my mind, akin to the idiocy of him being some kind of class signifier (or adopting the Turkish hero, St George, as England’s patron).  There’s a frustrating, illogical irony to these bigoted attitudes which I have blogged before about.  And, bear in mind, I was not born in England.

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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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