Shakespeare, England and me: a blog for Shakespeare’s birthday

To mark the 2012 anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, I have written a post exploring my  interest in Shakespeare and trying to define what I am looking for when writing about him. It is necessarily more personal, in parts, than my other posts; forgive me if it seems indulgently so. One of the great 20th Shakespearean … Continue reading Shakespeare, England and me: a blog for Shakespeare’s birthday

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Review: A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England by Suzannah Lipscomb

It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I approached Suzannah Lipscomb’s latest book. Was it really necessary? Did the world need another guide book to the historic buildings of England? Would she not be forced into tiresome iterations of ‘We can imagine…’ or ‘If one closes one’s eyes one can almost hear…’ and … Continue reading Review: A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England by Suzannah Lipscomb

Review: The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

The Crown is the début novel by American journalist and writer Nancy Bilyeau. Set in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace – and in particular the reprisals that followed its suppression - and against the backdrop of the dissolution of monasteries, its central character is Joanna Stafford, a young novice at Dartford Priory in … Continue reading Review: The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

Shakespeare, the lost years and the London stage

It is usually said that Shakespeare re-emerges from ‘the lost years’ with Robert Greene’s flighted asides in Groatsworth of Wit, published in 1592 (and possibly the work of its editor, Henry Chettle), and which I quoted in an earlier post. Although it has sometimes been argued that Greene may not be having at Shakespeare here, … Continue reading Shakespeare, the lost years and the London stage

Shakespeare: the lost years

Most biographies of Shakespeare have traditionally wafted the young man directly from Stratford to London, presuming that the capital’s dominance of the English theatre which Shakespeare would help establish in the 1590s – and which lasts to this day – also held true for the 1580s. But that is not necessarily so. The truth is, … Continue reading Shakespeare: the lost years