where there’s a will there’s a play

shakespeare's plays


obit (the dust) of the month: hand in hand to hell

Richard III

A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III. Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch’s family. The skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull, at around the time of death. Two of the skull wounds were potentially fatal. One was a “slice” removing a flap of bone, the other caused by bladed weapon which went through and hit the opposite side of the skull. Other wounds included slashes or stabs to the face and the side of the head. Richard III was portrayed as deformed by some Tudor historians and indeed the skeleton’s spine is badly curved, a condition known as scoliosis. However, there was no trace of a withered arm or other abnormalities seen in the more extreme characterizations of the king. Born at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, where Mary Queen of Scots was later executed, Richard had one of the shortest reigns in English history: just 26 months. Appointed as protector of his nephew, Edward V, upon the death of his brother Edward IV, Richard instead assumed the reins of power. Edward and his brother – the famous Princes in the Tower – disappeared soon after, leading to speculation that they had been murdered on the orders of their uncle. Challenged by Henry Tudor, Richard was the last English king to die in battle. He was slain at Bosworth in 1485, leaving Shakespeare the ingredients for a (quite literal) field day. Read the full story HERE.


the lord of la mancha

It was only a few years ago that I randomly picked up a copy of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.  In Edith Grossman’s stunning translation, which was new at the time, the four hundred year old novel was brought to life in a way I couldn’t have imagined possible.  A weighty tome in both size and scope it held me enrapt for weeks. (Pick up any piece of fiction written in the last two hundred years and you’ll see the debt to Cervantes on every page) I knew the author spent a significant period of his life abroad, but didn’t realize his ties to the capital until now. Cervantes died in Madrid, coincidentally on the same day as William Shakespeare: April 23, 1616.


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