QotW (#73) 22 April 2019

upstart crow shakespeare and marlowe

To begin, a little quiz.  What connects the following texts?

  • Ian McEwan: On Chesil Beach (2007)
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson:  ‘Maud’ (1855)
  • Christopher Marlowe: Edward II (1592)
  • William Shakespeare:  Richard III (1592), and

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QotW (#72): 08 April 2019

subtitled: ‘Sir’s rule number 1‘ …

nightwatchman

‘Who’s there?’

‘Nay, answer me.  Stand and unfold yourself.’ [a]

Bernardo and Francisco have a point.  The entire path of the scene is determined by who is on stage.  Think of the ways the conversation could go if instead of Bernardo, another unknown Dane approaches Francisco’s guard-post, or one of Fortinbras’ troops.

From Hamlet to real life, and the idea of decorum – behaving or speaking appropriately to the circumstances and audience.

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[book review] Shirley McKay: Hue & Cry

cover Hue and CryAlthough this novel (published 2011) begins the Hew Cullan mysteries, I arrived having read the latest, ‘1588:  A Calendar of Crime‘ (2016) – whose review you can read here – first.

In many ways, therefore, this felt like a prequel, assembling the cast and creating several relationships I’d already become familiar with.

Think a far superior version of Star Wars episodes I-III …

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[book review] Patricia Finney: Firedrake’s Eye

firedrake's eyeI came to this novel via Finney’s nom-de-plume, PF Chisholm, and her entertaining Sir John Carey novel, A Famine of Horses.

Appropriately enough, Firedrake’s Eye is an entirely different beast …

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Book Review: Shirley Mckay’s 1588 – A Calendar of Crime

1588

As we hit mid-March, and I hit 25 books (about half of which have, unusually, been historical fiction set in the Tudor period), this is my favourite read of 2019 so far.

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QotW (#71): 11 March 2019

Antony Sher as Richard, RSC, 1984
the ‘bottled spider’

It’s nearly a year (where has the time gone?) since I last picked up a book and decided I’d love to get down the pub for a session with the author (and bear in mind I’m still not drinking: day 70 today).  Imagine me, Anthony Sher and Michael Bogadanov setting the Shakespearean world to rights over a few scoops …

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Book Review: Lamentation, CJ Sansom

cover lamentation

If last year was one in which I read hardly any fiction, then 2019 is one in which I’ve gone the opposite way, making a point to explore some of the popular Tudor historical fiction byways …

At some stage I might even produce a comparative guide, but for the moment here’s a review of ‘Lamentation‘, sixth instalment of CJ Sansom‘s ‘Shardlake’ series.

 

 

 

 

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