Tag Archives: Thomas Tusser

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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Looking forward to spring and the art of the garden

The British love affair with gardening is well-known, and opening on 20 March and running until 11 October is an exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace called Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden. Building on the success of … Continue reading

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Happy Christmas from the Shakespeare blog

Many thanks to all of you who have been reading the Shakespeare blog during 2014! Over the past year I’ve written 145 posts, and have had nearly 135,000 visits to the site. I’ve also had many responses to posts and suggestions … Continue reading

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Harvest time in Shakespeare’s England

For once the English summer hasn’t let us down and until the last few days we’ve enjoyed weeks of fine, warm weather. August is harvest-time. In The Tempest, Shakespeare writes of the “sunburnt sickle men, of August weary”, and tell … Continue reading

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Juliet’s birthday: Shakespeare and Lammas-tide

Lammas Day, 1 August, was an important day in the calendar, but for Shakespeare-lovers Lammas Eve, 31 July, is the more significant because it was the day of Juliet’s birth. Juliet is one of the few Shakespearean characters whose age and … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s blasts of January

When icicles hang by the wall And Dick the shepherd blows his nail And Tom bears logs into the hall And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring … Continue reading

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Christmas puddings: a taste of tradition

More than any other holiday time, Christmas has always been about food and drink. Thomas Tusser, an East Anglian farmer, wrote his verse calendar of the year Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, published in 1557 and still full of … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Christmas through the eyes of the Victorians

This year I’ve received a Christmas card featuring an engraving dating back to 1846, originally published to illustrate “A Story about a Christmas in the seventeenth century”*. It’s a charming picture, but one thing is certain: Christmas in the seventeenth … Continue reading

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Elizabethan Christmas: carols

Now we’re getting really near to Christmas, let’s have some music to get us in the mood. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania contrasts the long summer evenings with the cosiness of winter round the fire: The human mortals want … Continue reading

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