Category Archives: Sources

Printing and publishing in Shakespeare’s world

A couple of weeks go I heard an interview with an author who had tracked down the people who had pre-owned some of his books. It sparked a discussion about writing in books, from a simple signature of ownership, to … Continue reading

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Hugh Quarshie: Othello at last

In 2015 Hugh Quarshie will at last be taking on the role of Othello. It’s been a long wait: having played a whole series of Shakespeare’s characters in the 1980s and 1990s, from the predictable Aaron in Titus Andronicus, through … Continue reading

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The Secret Life of Shakespeare’s First Folio

Shakespeare’s First Folio is back in the news again, with a documentary presented by actor Simon Russell Beale having been broadcast on 9 September. It’s part of the series The Secret Life of Books, a fascinating look at the process of creative … Continue reading

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Thomas Wyatt, Hilary Mantel, and the art of poetry

Hilary Mantel’s novel Bring Up the Bodies documents the life of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister. History has judged Cromwell harshly for ruthlessly masterminding the downfall of Anne Boleyn, but without backing away from this, she makes him a … Continue reading

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Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene

Over the past few weeks a lively discussion has been going on at the Shakespeare noticeboard SHAKSPER under the title “Balcony”. The so-called balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet is probably Shakespeare’s most famous single scene, and no wonder as … Continue reading

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Fact or fiction: Shakespeare at Charlecote

There are many legends about Shakespeare’s life, but none is more compelling than that linking him with Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon. Local historian Dr Robert Bearman has just sent me details of a new publication that relates to it: Anyone … Continue reading

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Theatre, democracy and Shakespeare

Dr Michael Scott’s BBC4 series Ancient Greece: the Greatest Show on Earth, looking at theatre in the classical world, has reached the Roman period. This is only available to download until 27 February, though you will then have a few weeks … Continue reading

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The end of chivalry: John Talbot, the terror of the French

According to the messenger who gives the news in the first scene of Henry VI Part 1, Lord Talbot was captured by the French during a battle that took place on 10 August. The tenth of August last this dreadful … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and The White Queen: using creative license

The current television series The White Queen has been criticised for its historical inaccuracies, its glossy costumes and out-of-period settings. I haven’t read the books by Philippa Gregory, so can’t tell how much of this relates to them and how … Continue reading

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Richard III: an update on the King in the car park

Last week’s revelations about the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton in a car park in Leicester has sparked off a flurry of articles about the real and fictitious monarch. Here are links to just a few of them. First of all, … Continue reading

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