[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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[book review]: PF Chisholm, A Famine of Horses

cover famine of horsesPF Chisholm, A Famine of Horses (London:  Head of Zeus, 2016)

This was a promising start to a series by Chisholm, who also writes as Patricia Finney. Although our hero is a historical figure, and some of his exploits are based on actual events, there was something refreshing and interesting about setting the novel so far from the usual world of court intrigue and plots to kill Elizabeth. Neither is our hero conventionally heroic, or handsome, or some kind of Elizabethan übermensch, as we see too often in historical fiction.

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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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