Category Archives: Sources

Judi Dench’s Shakespeare connection: Who Do You Think You Are?

For years now Who Do You Think You Are has been great TV, but the episode featuring Dame Judi Dench on 19 October 2021 was outstanding. The programme uncovers aspects of the family history of celebrities and has covered everything … Continue reading

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Rehabilitating Shakespeare’s “she-wolf of France”, Margaret of Anjou

  For many years attempts have been made to establish that Richard III was not the out and out villain that Shakespeare presents to us, a difficult task since Richard III is one of his most compelling characters in a … Continue reading

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A new source for Shakespeare’s plays?

It’s always exciting when someone claims to have made a new discovery relating to Shakespeare and the writing of his plays. The sources of most of his work are well known: Geoffrey Bullough’s Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, published … Continue reading

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Ovid and Shakespeare: the world’s greatest storytellers

Anyone who’s interested in Shakespeare will have heard the name Ovid, but how much do we really know about him? I’ve written a couple of posts on Ovid myself, but I have never really investigated the story of this great … Continue reading

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Influences on Shakespeare

The source books from which Shakespeare took the main stories of his plays are well-known, sometimes so important that he quoted almost word for word, as in Enobarbus’s description of Cleopatra from Plutarch’s Lives. Other sources seem to have been … Continue reading

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Celebrating Ovid 2000 years on

2017 marks the 2000th anniversary of the death of the Roman writer Ovid, whose  Metamorphoses has continued to be one of the most influential of literary works. As Shakespeare’s favourite writer, the RSC, and its current Artistic Director Gregory Doran … Continue reading

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Winter stories at Charlecote

December isn’t the coldest month of the year, but it’s the darkest, with days getting progressively shorter most of the month. Earlier this week I visited Charlecote Park, the stately home near Stratford-upon-Avon, and couldn’t help thinking how much the lack … Continue reading

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Reporting War

On Saturday October 3rd the RSC is holding the latest in its series of debates on subjects raised by plays in its repertoire, Reporting War: Whose Truth is Told? The debate specifically accompanies the RSC’s new production of Hecuba, Marina … Continue reading

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Last call for Magna Carta at the British Library

2015 has been the eight-hundredth anniversary of the great document Magna Carta, one of the world’s most famous documents, which is still controversial. Is it, as the British Library’s website asks, the “foundation of democracy or rallying cry for modern … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the Book of Common Prayer

On Radio 4 on 26 August 2015 Quentin Letts asked “What’s the point of the Book of Common Prayer?” This little book, written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, was originally published in 1549 during the brief but emphatically protestant reign of King Edward … Continue reading

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