The first disabled Richard III?

BH mat fraser as riii
Mat Fraser

‘I am the first person who owns the body portraying the man. It’s hugely exciting for me.’ 

I’ll read or listen to almost anything about Richard III, and chanced upon this today. I’ve not seen the programme, but some of you will recognise Mat Fraser from American Horror Story:  Freak Show.  For those of you who don’t know him, he describes himself as a ‘thalidomider’.  He’ll soon be playing Richard in Hull …

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‘A delightful society’ …

holinshedYou are holding in your hands one of the most interesting, influential – and readable – books in British history.

Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland have long been famous as the key source of Shakespeare’s history plays.  Given the role of Shakespeare’s view of Tudor history in shaping English nationalism, Holinshed’s long-term influence on British culture and English literature can hardly be overstated.  Michael Wood (intro), Holinshed Chronicles  (The Folio Society:  London, 2012)

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A plague on both your houses …

BH The Black Death 2‘When ignorant men are overwhelmed by forces totally beyond their control and their understanding it is inevitable that they will search for some explanation within their grasp.  When they are frightened and badly hurt then they will seek someone on whom they can be revenged. […]  What was needed, therefore, was a suitable target for the indignation of the people, preferably a minority group, easily identifiable, already unpopular, widely scattered and lacking any powerful protector.’

Philip Ziegler, The Black Death, (The Folio Society, London: 1997)  Cover image:  Francis Mosley

The plague was too immediate, too visceral, for Shakespeare to include more than a passing reference to it in his plays.  In Romeo and Juliet it’s a factor in the tragedy, but at a safe distance.

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I’m currently reading …

BH The-Princes-in-the-Tower-by-Alison-Weir

Alison Weir, The Princes In The Tower (The Folio Society, London: 1992)

w/c 17 July 2017

Richard of Gloucester was typical of the magnates of the period: acquisitive, hungry for wealth, land and power, brave in battle, tough, ruthless, energetic, and keenly interested in warfare, heraldry, and the manly pursuits such as hunting and hawking.

Read the full post for previous QUOTE OF THE WEEK entries …

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Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting)

BH Elizabethan Underworld

‘Elizabethan London was livelier, noisier, smellier, probably more dangerous and certainly more colourful than the city we know today.’  

Gamino Salgãdo, The Elizabethan Underworld, (The Folio Society, London: 2006)

Just another Saturday night at The Boar’s Head, Eastcheap?

I needed cheering after going back to school today at the end of the Easter Holidays.  And, look what I collected from the Post Office on the way home …

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