Year: 2014

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“The HandleBards”: William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (The Dell, Stratford-upon-Avon, June 14, 2014)

Shakespeare done differently … but I think he’d approve and be as royally entertained as the rest of us – these guys are a total riot! The HandleBards: 4 guys touring all of England on bikes with performances of Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors, covering all of the roles among the four of them […]

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London & (mainly) Stratford-upon-Avon Book Haul, June 2014

Thomas Penn – Winter King: The Dawn of the Tudor Age Neil MacGregor – Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects Julian Curry (ed.) – Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles (interviews with, inter alia, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Derek Jacobi, Jude Law, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, […]

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Pat McIntosh: The Harper’s Quine

Enjoyable storytelling marred by major irritants I had been contemplating a long rant setting forth in detail how and why this book trespasses into several of my pet peeve areas at once, but as I won’t be rushing to read the next books from the series even though I enjoyed it from a mere storytelling […]

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Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison

“Except that the girl’s innocent.” Things are not going well at Harriet Vane’s trial for the murder of her former lover, Philip Boyes – hearing the judge’s summation, only the most unrealistic of minds could conclude that she is not guilty as charged. One such mind, however, is that of Lord Peter Wimsey – the […]

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Happy 450th Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit, To thee I send this written embassage, To witness duty, not to show my wit. (Sonnet No. 26) Born (probably): April 23, 1564 Baptized: April 26, 1564 Heraldic Motto: Non sanz droict (= “Not without right”) Stratford-upon-Avon, England: William Shakespeare’s […]

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Willy Brandt: Erinnerungen (My Life in Politics)

  Visionär und Architekt / A Visionary and an Architect Note to the English Speakers out there: I’ve read the book in German, and not least because of its author and its topic it seemed logical to me for once to write a review in both German and English, and to put the German version […]

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Ruth Rendell: No Man’s Nightingale

Wexford’s Retirement Agatha Christie famously once commented that, had she foreseen the lasting popularity of Hercule Poirot, she would not have made him a man already in mid-life in the book marking his first appearance – and the beginning of Christie’s own literary career –, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). The awkwardness of that […]

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Jane Austen: Mansfield Park

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” Thus Mansfield Park‘s improbable heroine, Fanny Price, admonishes her would-be suitor Henry Crawford when he purports to ask for her advice in a bid to win her around, after having already seduced her much wealthier […]

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Emma Thompson: The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries – Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film

“Is Love a Fancy or a Feeling?” When Emma Thompson was approached with the suggestion to write a screenplay based on Jane Austen’s first novel Sense and Sensibility (1811), she was somewhat doubtful because, as she explains on the DVD’s commentary track, she felt that other Austen works, like the more expressive Emma and Persuasion […]

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The Medieval Murderers: King Arthur’s Bones

Picking Over Royal Bones Royal births, weddings and burials have fascinated us ordinary humans since time immemorial; and while people’s proprietary interest in the fate of the world’s rulers is easily understandable in societies where those rulers wield supreme power – including the Europe of yesteryear – the fascination is no less noticeable in today’s […]

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SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

“Is Love a Fancy or a Feeling?” When Emma Thompson was approached with the suggestion to write a screenplay based on Jane Austen‘s first novel Sense and Sensibility (1811), she was somewhat doubtful because, as she explains on the DVD’s commentary track, she felt that other Austen works, like the more expressive Emma and Persuasion […]

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