King James VI of Scotland, James I of England podcast….

  Here is a link to a BBC podcast about King James VI of Scotland, who, of course, became James I of England and was the first of our Stuart monarchs. I can’t say I’m a Stuart expert, being much more interested in the Plantagenets, but a monarch is a monarch!

History and cultural history (III)

We have already shown how Shakespeare was inadvertently influenced by contemporary or earlier events in setting details – names, events, badges or physical resemblance – for his Hamlet, King Lear and Richard III. What of Romeo and Juliet, thought to have been written between 1591-5 and first published, in quarto form, in 1597? The most… Continue reading History and cultural history (III)

BOOK REVIEW

Stuart Bradley – JOHN MORTON: adversary of Richard III, power behind the Tudors (Amberley 2019)   John Morton served the English crown for a almost forty years during one of the most turbulent periods in English history. He wielded considerable influence at the courts of three kings. First, in the Lancastrian household of Henry VI:… Continue reading BOOK REVIEW

Conspiracy theories, Elizabeth I and Shakespeare….?

  If you go to here you will find examples of those intriguing possibilities, conspiracy theories. Well, some of them are too outlandish, but others…well, maybe…? Anyway, take a look and decide for yourself whether, for example, the Gunpowder Plot was really a put-up job by the Earl of Salisbury. Or whether Elizabeth the First might—just… Continue reading Conspiracy theories, Elizabeth I and Shakespeare….?

Richard III and Robert Cecil (Part II)

In a previous post, we explored the theory that Shakespeare’s Richard III was actually based on the Elizabethan politician, Robert Cecil. Here is another discussion of the subject, Richard III and Robert Cecil, with references to the hypothesis that Shakespeare was actually the 17th Earl of Oxford, a descendant of the previous Earls of Oxford… Continue reading Richard III and Robert Cecil (Part II)

Playwrights and persistent historical myths

Today in 1564, Christopher Marlowe (right) was baptised in Canterbury. One of the plays for which he is most famous is       Edward II (left), traditionally dated a year before his own 1593 death. In it, he fuels the myth of Edward meeting his end by a red-hot poker. This is cited by Starkey in… Continue reading Playwrights and persistent historical myths

Uncle Richard?

A long time ago, I posted a short article about one of my ancestors, Thomas Snellgrove, who was a portrait artist and painted an actor portraying Richard III. Here is the link. I have been researching my family history for over thirty years and it used to be a very slow and painstaking process. The… Continue reading Uncle Richard?

Radio Interview Regarding the Leicester Cathedral Controversy

Having heard that Leicester Cathedral were staging a performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III inside the Cathedral itself, feet from where Richard is buried, I felt I had to do something to protest. It is not that I object to Leicester putting plays on in the Cathedral, although some do. Nor do I hate Shakespeare’s Richard… Continue reading Radio Interview Regarding the Leicester Cathedral Controversy

Coming up this year:

As you can see, Kit Harrington will soon portray Robert Catesby in a BBC drama about the Gunpowder Plot. Catesby, shot while resisting arrest, was one of the lucky ones. Then again, our folk memory of the seventeenth century is not entirely accurate. Here it is.

History and cultural history (II)

In this piece, we introduced the idea that Shakespeare, although a very inaccurate historian, accurately reflected the cultural history of his time with respect to the political execution of women. We have also discussed how the Bard’s Richard III may actually have been a portrayal of Robert Cecil. Another piece showed the uncertainty as to… Continue reading History and cultural history (II)