Tag Archives: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Shakespeare and the Welsh “Upon St Davy’s day”

Every first of March the Welsh celebrate St David’s Day. Shakespeare was well aware of this: in Henry V the Welsh Captain Fluellen says to the King: I do believe your majesty takes no scorn To wear a leek upon … Continue reading

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The Merry Wives of Windsor in the Royal Library

The story that Shakespeare wrote The Merry Wives of Windsor in response to a request from Queen Elizabeth to see Falstaff in love goes back a long way. In the prologue to his 1702 adaptation of the play, The Comical … Continue reading

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Pumpkins and cabbages: vegetables in Shakespeare’s Windsor

At the end of the growing season the shops are full of produce, with onions, pumpkins and other vegetables in store for the winter. As the harvest hymn has it, “all is safely gathered in /ere the winter storms begin”. … Continue reading

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Two American Shakespeareans: James Hackett, father and son

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre contains a little memorial that has always interested me. Just by the fountain at the base of the spiral staircase is a plaque dedicated to The American actor James K Hackett, 1869-1926, “a generous benefactor to … 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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Comic artists with a sense of Shakespeare’s poetry: Des Barrit and George R Weir

This week I finally caught up with the RSC’s joyful production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was the company’s grown-up Christmas extravaganza and if you have the chance, there are still a couple of performances which are guaranteed … Continue reading

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The legend of Herne’s Oak

The Merry Wives of Windsor is set in the depth of winter, the season Shakespeare associates with eating, drinking, telling stories, singing, and practical jokes. It’s also  one of the few plays for which Shakespeare invented the plot, and he … Continue reading

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International Women’s day: remembering Mary Cowden Clarke

Every year on 8 March International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women. All round the world women still suffer serious inequality, and education is one area to which even in the Western world women were denied equal access until … Continue reading

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Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon

Celebrations for the 7 February bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth are taking place all round the world. His exuberant language, eccentric characters, and gripping, often mysterious story lines, combined with his wacky sense of humour and desire for social justice, … Continue reading

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Very like a whale: Adventures in the far North, Part 2

In Part 1 I looked at some of Shakespeare’s references to whales, and the history of whaling in Spitsbergen. This time I’m looking at the stories of adventurers who headed north.  The very first English trading company was established by … Continue reading

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