The blogs from this series arise from a talk I gave in March 2020 for the University of Bristol English Department. Kabul fell to the Taliban while the UK's Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, was on a beach in Crete. A lot of commentators have accused him of lounging around in the sun when he might… Continue reading The Politics of BrainyQuote.com
‘And the word became flesh’: Discuss.
I was really pleased to join Simon Perry for a chat as part of his interview series, which you can find here. Following in the intertwined footsteps of Miriam Margoyles, Rev Al Sharpton and Judith Butler was an ambition I'd never thought to dream of having - but I've done it now, and I enjoyed… Continue reading ‘And the word became flesh’: Discuss.
Notes on ‘the real world’
This article was first published in '9 West Road' Back in 2017 it was reported that some lectures that I’d given for the Tragedy paper had been advertised to students with warnings about the material to be discussed. A lot of commentators professed themselves to be highly irked. Goaded on by such headlines as ‘Cambridge… Continue reading Notes on ‘the real world’
‘How the fat rogue roared!’: Boris & Falstaff
When Boris Johnson appeared on the Andrew Marr show in early October, he rubbished rumours that his day-to-day life was affected by the symptoms of what’s come to be known as ‘long Covid’. Johnson: I think the issue is that when I alas got this wretched thing I was too fat. I was too fat.… Continue reading ‘How the fat rogue roared!’: Boris & Falstaff
Lift off! – the Shakespeare for Snowflakes launch
Well, what fun. Yesterday my friend and erstwhile official mentor Lesel Dawson joined me for a shindig on Youtube to mark the publication of Shakespeare for Snowflakes. I got through a lot of questions, fistfuls of Ferrero Rocher, and about three quarters of a bottle of wine. If you missed it, you can watch it… Continue reading Lift off! – the Shakespeare for Snowflakes launch
Review: Boris Johnson’s Shakespeare book
or, The Riddle of The Riddle of Genius Boris Johnson's book about Shakespeare - Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius - was originally scheduled for publication by Hodder & Stoughton in October 2016. Unfortunately for everyone, Johnson has been busy with other projects since then, so it's been delayed for the 'forseeable future'. Once upon a… Continue reading Review: Boris Johnson’s Shakespeare book
You’re invited: the Shakespeare for Snowflakes online launch!
On Friday 25th September, 7.30pm UK time, I'll be joining my good friend Lesel Dawson live on Youtube to officially launch my first book, Shakespeare for Snowflakes: On Slapstick and Sympathy. Normally a book launch would consist of lots of people in smart clothes mingling in the same room eating small triangular sandwiches and drinking… Continue reading You’re invited: the Shakespeare for Snowflakes online launch!
A while ago I received the following email from 'CJ', in Dorset. "I wonder, considering the recent (ish) examples of universities and other societies’ last-minute cancelling and/or outright denying of certain people to speak at their events, whether this highlights a hypocrisy that could be potentially problematic for the arts? On one hand we have… Continue reading Mailbag 2/7/20
Making Shakespeare’s Sonnets – part 6
A long delay. Once George Eld had printed Shake-speares Sonnets for Thomas Thorpe, it was over thirty years before something like Shakespeare's sonnets appeared in print again. In 1640, readers were able to purchase 'POEMS:', as the bookseller John Benson described them, 'WRITTEN BY WIL. SHAKESPEARE. GENT.' This collection differed from Thomas Thorpe's in several… Continue reading Making Shakespeare’s Sonnets – part 6
Making Shakespeare’s Sonnets – part 5
If you were to leaf through Sir Sidney Lee's 1898 Life of William Shakespeare, you'd find each chapter is broken into carefully headed sections. In one chapter, 'The Sonnets and their Literary History', you'd find the following headings: Their piratical publication in 1609Lack of genuine sentiment in Elizabethan sonnetsSonnetteers’ admissions of insinceritySlender autobiographical element in… Continue reading Making Shakespeare’s Sonnets – part 5