Laura Ashe, Richard II: A Brittle Glory (Penguin: London, 2016)
Emboldened by the excellent ‘Penguin Monarchs‘ volume on Edward II, I looked out which other volumes were available: the first that arrived in the post was this one.
Ashe‘s approach seems different to Given-Wilson‘s on Edward. Where he was reassuringly chronological, she deals with Richard’s reign (and I’ve seen this as a criticism of the volume online) thematically. It has, nonetheless, given me some useful insight into a king who I’ve always vaguely felt I owed a debt: I fell asleep watching Jeremy Irons in the title role – in Stratford, of all places – back in 1986/7. To this day, I blame the large lunch I had before the matinee performance …
Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 16 October”
John Julius Norwich, Shakespeare’s Kings (Penguin: London, 2000)
I like this book very much, and as I’m currently teaching Edward II to two separate groups of sixth-formers, I thought I’d look out a quotation for them regarding our hapless king. Despite Edward not being one of Shakespeare‘s kings, Norwich doesn’t disappoint …
Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 02 October”
GR Elton, A History of England: England Under The Tudors (The Folio Society: London, 1997)
If there was ever a knockout blow in the ebooks vs. physical books debate, I think The Folio Society supplies it.
The heft of them, the slipcases, the overall production values – even the feel of the paper stock makes these a pleasure to read, and as someone who usually subjects his books to ‘tough love’, it makes me look after them in a way I rarely do other books.
And the contents never fail to live up to the packaging …
Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 25 September”
The Boar’s Head Bookshelf reaches the dizzy heights of 53 volumes today, not including my Arden Third Edition copies of the plays themselves …
Continue reading “‘We’re gonna need a bigger shelf …’”
MACAULAY, Thomas Babington: The History of England from 1485 to 1685 (ed. Peter Rowland) (The Folio Society: London, 1985)
Before we look at Macaulay, let me give you one of mine from the classroom. It’s always an attention-grabber – you can see students falling into a few different categories:
a) people who clearly haven’t considered the issue before but are now thinking rapidly;
b) those who panic at the agency I’m potentially giving them; and
c) the ones who get a twinkle in their eye and would like to test my theory but daren’t.
I hardly ever get a d) can’t be bothered or not listening …
Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 28 August”
Peter Saccio, Shakespeare’s English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2000)
One of the biggest problems with being on holiday with non-reading friends is that you become embarrassed by the amount of time you want, no NEED, to spend in bookshops.
So this was a book I could easily have missed whilst browsing a second-hand bookshop in Leominster. I was really lucky to have my other half on hand to find it out for me, because time was running out, and I was beginning to worry about the patience of the friends we were holidaying with, who had already politely wandered round the shop and were now at the ‘waiting outside for you‘ stage ….
Continue reading “Quote of the week: 21 August”
David Riggs: The World of Christopher Marlowe (Faber and Faber: London, 2004)
If you squint, you’ll see that this was one of the books I bought as retail therapy a short while back. I tackled this one first owing to my commitments to teach Edward II again this coming school year – I was hoping to get a few additional nuggets about Marlowe‘s private life.
The book has turned out to be an absolute revelation …
Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 07 August”