Who was the man behind Hamlet, Romeo, Falstaff and Lear? And why did he write, ‘I, once gone, to all the world must die’?
In this ground-breaking work Charles Beauclerk moves beyond the narrow confines of traditional Shakespearean scholarship to explore the political milieu in which Shakespeare lived and worked and the life-and-death struggle he underwent in the name of his ‘cause’. In doing so, he humanizes the bard who for centuries has remained beyond our grasp.
The story revealed is one of betrayal and sacrifice at the heart of government, with Shakespeare forced to fight both for the survival of his works—and his very identity. The official history, that of a barely educated genius writing in isolation and a virginal queen married to her country, is exposed as artful propaganda.
Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom delves deep into the conflicts and personalities of Elizabethan England, and the plays themselves, to cast new light on the greatest and most mysterious artist the world has known.
Three lives. One man.
Christopher Marlowe was the first rock star poet, a spy, an atheist, a gay rebel whose controversial plays thrilled audiences and challenged the government.
CHRISTOPHER WILD is Kathe Koja’s new novel, a daring remix of eras—the glitter and threat of Elizabethan England, a grimy mid-20th century, and a dark near-future of constant surveillance—as Marlowe loves and fights and writes his way through every dangerous age.
KATHE KOJA’s books include Under the Poppy, The Bastards’ Paradise, The Cipher and Skin; her young adult novels include Buddha Boy, Talk and Kissing the Bee. Her work has been honored by the ALA, the ASPCA and with the Bram Stoker Award. Her books have been published in seven languages and optioned for film. She’s a Detroit native and lives in the area with her husband, artist Rick Lieder. She also runs Loudermilk Productions, creating site-specific immersive events including performances of Faustus and her own adaptation of Under the Poppy.
The years immediately before the First World War saw the last great flowering of European monarchy. Although sovereigns no longer ruled by divine right, their prestige and positions remained almost intact. The glittering centerpieces of national life, those crowned and anointed monarchs were still widely regarded as mystical, unassailable, divinely guided. And, with the majority of them being so closely related, they constituted a royal clan, an international freemasonry through which it was assumed the peace of Europe was being maintained.
World War I shattered all this. King took up arms against king; cousin was pitted against cousin. Twelve leading monarchs, ranging from the vainglorious Kaiser Wilhelm II to such lesser-known figures as the brigandly Nicholas of Montenegro, the ‘outre’ Foxy Ferdinand of Bulgaria and the tragic Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary, were involved in the conflict. For, in the end, that celebrated kinship of the family of kings proved irrelevant. Against the upheavals of these years, monarchs were revealed as both powerless and impotent.
Here, Theo Aronson has assembled the entire cast of embattled monarchs. His is the story of eight momentous years viewed, as it were, from the monarchical standpoint; an account of the passing, not only of their particular world, but of the entire monarchic and dynastic order of the Continent. It describes the brilliant sunset and the dramatic break-up of the Europe of the Kings
A journey along one of Britain’s oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.
Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten.
Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape.
The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.
For two nights at a house party at Tranby Croft, the residence of one of the richest men in England, a card game is played, instigated by the Prince of Wales. One of the players, Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Gordon-Cumming Bt, Scots Guards, is accused of cheating.
A classic Victorian melodrama: vast amounts of money, illegal gambling, the Royal Family, mistresses, bed-hopping, cover-up, deception and blackmail.
The saga ranges from the wind-swept remoteness of Gordonstoun in Scotland, big game hunting in Africa and India, to life in the Guards in London and action in the Zulu Wars and Egyptian Campaign of 1882.
For the first time, the Gordon-Cumming family papers are brought to light, including many of Sir William’s diaries and letters, as well as letters from The Royal Archives at Windsor Castle that detail the anxieties amongst the Royal Family.
Previously undiscovered, there are more than mere coincidental connections between Gordon-Cumming and the Intelligence community. What was he really up to and why didn’t the Prince, his close confidant and friend, bail him out? Views of present-day descendants of those involved are also revealed for the first time. Was Gordon-Cumming a cheat or not? Or was he the scapegoat for something which is shrouded in even more mystery?
King Henry VI is proving to be an unstable monarch, prone to bouts of mysterious illness and susceptible to manipulation from others.
Richard of York, the most powerful magnate in the land, steps in to manage affairs whilst Henry is unwell.
Many people prefer York’s rule, which does not please the queen. The country begins to divide and plots start to hatch.
York himself is directly descended from the royal family line, in fact, a little more directly than Henry but he puts this fact aside and strives only to serve the king.
This, however, becomes increasingly difficult due to the acts of the queen, who, now feeling threatened by York, calls her men to get rid of him.
The York family is strong and the two eldest sons, Edward and Edmund are approaching manhood.
Edward, bold and eager, is keen to leave his childhood behind and enter the world of men, of politics, combat and love.
Edmund, the younger brother is more introspective and struggles to project his public image.
Both boys look to York as their mentor, a match for any king; and Richard is proud of them both.
But with sons comes the question of inheritance.
Who will succeed Henry’s throne? His own son, the young Prince Edward, or the capable York and his heirs?
This historical window into the past lifts figures from the history books and gives the personality and purpose behind their actions.
The story bears witness to the extremes of the human condition, from loving tenderness in court to vengeful violence on the battlefield.
When one thinks of women in the Middle Ages, the images that often come to mind are those of damsels in distress, mystics in convents, female laborers in the field, and even women of ill repute. In reality, however, medieval conceptions of womanhood were multifaceted, and women’s roles were varied and nuanced. Female stereotypes existed in the medieval world, but so too did women of power and influence. The pages of illuminated manuscripts reveal to us the many facets of medieval womanhood and slices of medieval life—from preoccupations with biblical heroines and saints to courtship, childbirth, and motherhood. While men dominated artistic production, this volume demonstrates the ways in which female artists, authors, and patrons were instrumental in the creation of illuminated manuscripts.
Featuring over one hundred illuminations depicting medieval women from England to Ethiopia, this book provides a lively and accessible introduction to the lives of women in the medieval world.
Why Seven Stages?
Because there is no one convenient word for everybody who works in the theatre, whether as playwright or composer, producer or manager, actor, singer or dancer.
Why these particular great figures whose stories are told in these pages?
First, because they represent between them all the arts of the theatre.
Secondly, because these men and women from different countries remind us that the stage-door stands open to both sexes and all nationalities.
And thirdly, these seven lives link up to give an outline of theatrical history at all its greatest and most colourful periods: our celebrated characters are seen against famous settings — among them the Elizabethan playhouse, the Paris and Versailles of Louis the Fourteenth, and Drury Lane in the eighteenth century.
But perhaps the best reason of all for selecting these great men and women, is that as human beings, they held a great interest and their lives, both in and outside the theatre, are truly fascinating.
Over the past hundred years, Ireland has undergone profound political, social and cultural changes. But one thing that has not changed is the Irish genius for observation and storytelling, invective and self-scrutiny. Ireland: The Autobiography draws upon this genius to create a portrait of a century of Irish life through the words of the people who lived it.