This week, too, has been exciting because now Hal and I have booked a hotel in London in June, giving ourselves some extra days before and after the Shakespeare seminar. And again blog follower Alexander has contributed with a variety of thought-provoking comments. Take the time to check them out!
From Gregory Doran's Shakespeare Almanac:
- Only this: On November 24, 1616, “…Shakespeare Quinney was christened. His grandfather died in April.” Not being totally conversant in Shakespeare’s grandchildren I checked this out and learned that Judith Shakespeare Quinney and her husband Richard had three children. Baby Shakespeare Q. lived only six months. Both of the others died without children so our Shakespeare has no descendants. Having died in April 1616, he never knew his grandchildren.
- In Friends Season 3, Joey is in a play that has received bad reviews. The director snarls at the Joey and the lead actress, “A plague on both your houses!”
- I have now finished Bryson’s At Home (it’s a fascinating book! Read it, and not only for the Shakespeare sightings!) and here is the final harvest of sightings:
- In Shakespeare’s day beds were valuable pieces of furniture and therefore leaving Anne their second best bed was not the stingy indication of a bad marriage that some have claimed but very likely an expression of tenderness as it was probably their bed, the best one being only for show.
- Historians have used the tender ages of R&J to prove that people got married young in the olden days but in fact there is no basis for that in reality, i.e. the documents. Why Shakespeare made them so young is unknown really.
- Because of the laws restricting who could wear what fabrics and colors in Elizabethan England, the permission received by the King’s Players to own and wear scarlet clothing was an immense honor.
- Dante Gabriel Rosetti’s wife Elizabeth Siddal is best known as the model for the famous painting of the drowned Ophelia among the flowers in the brook.
- The quote from King John about the grief expressed at the death of a child is used to support the thesis that parents indeed loved their children in the olden days.
- Poor poverty-stricken aristocrats (Bryson gives them far more sympathy than I do) in the 19th century made money by selling off their treasures. Thus, as mentioned last week, the First Folios made their way to the Folger collection in the US.
- When I was about twelve I read A Wrinkle in Time, a sci fi novel by Madeleine L’Engle and loved it. So I decided to read it again. This time I didn’t like it at all – it’s simplified and has cloying religious undertones. But is also has some sightings so here they are (but you don’t have to read the book anyway):
- The family dog is named Fortinbras
- The three oddball women helping the kids quote the three witches “When shall we three meet again….” etc
- They also quote Prospero, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on…” More quotes from The Tempest show up later.
- Shakespeare, along with Jesus, Beethoven and others, is listed as a good force against evil.
- Jasper Ffforde’s Thursday Next, in her third novel The Well of Lost Plots, is hiding in a badly written novel that has not yet been published and is visited by the three witches who address her, “All hail, McNext, citizen of Swindon,” and try to sell her a prophesy for a shilling.
- In the movie Prick Up Your Ears, based on a biography of playwright Joe Orton, a representative of the local council visits young Joe’s working class parents to convince them to allow him to enter RADA because of the great acting talent he displayed in a Shakespeare production. It later comes out that he played a messenger in Richard III.
Further, since the last report:
- Still reading aloud: Twelfth Night.
· This Monday Report
· “Can You Do That to Shakespeare?” under Ruby’s Reflections. Written for and sent to Blogging Shakespeare.
· Comments on Alexander’s and others’ comments