Book Reviews

Reading Shapiro’s 1599

This is an excellent introduction to the plays that Shakespeare wrote in this very productive year. The fascinating account begins with a description of the theatre moving down from Shoreditch to the Southbank and its subsequent reconstruction. There is a useful summary of some of the leading actors among the Chamberlain’s Men.

There is a linkage between the major incidents of the times such as; Elizabeth’s Court, another possible invasion from another Armada and the troubles in Ireland including the attempts of Essex to deal with the situation. (It would be good to re-read Elisabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey to consider how his account differs.)

Shapiro is also excellent on the individual plays and ther connections with the period. How As You Like It is informed by the destruction of the forests like Arden-linked by name to the Ardennes. The effect of the enclosures and rural poverty are considered which of course comes up again in Coriolanus. The evolution of Hamlet is connected with the development of Brutus in Julius Caesar. Also there is much of interest about the development of the soliloquies under the influence of the Essay form from Montaigne but moderated by early English essayists. A compelling read and for further reviews there are:- and

Art Exhibition Reviews

Winter Light Exhibition at Morvah Schoolhouse

In the wind and the rain on Sunday we made our way across to the Morvah Schoolhouse Gallery.The current exhibition finishes last week to be followed by a new display from this Thursday,13th Jan. It is a  Mixed Exhibition of Printmaking, Paintings & Drawings by John Krcma, Sally Krcma, Jane Townsend, Roger Wilson.

The atmosphere is always very impressive;there is a large picture window giving a view of the expanse of fields and on a clear day you can see vessels in the distance making their way up the Channel. As the exhibition was about to close there were fewer items on display but looked great in the afternoon light.

There was a smell of tomato and basil soup from downstairs where the cosy little café and friendly, helpful staff are located. A great place to unwind and take a pleasant break!

Book Reviews

Reading Michael Frayn

My Father’s Fortune: A Life

I am currently greatly enjoying reading this memoir;it is engaging, moving ,insightful and altogether a thoroughly good read. People might well want to know where they can read reviews of books such quality. I would strongly recommend The Bookbag