Friday, September 9, 2011

Your Foreign Correspondent Reporting….

I’m Back!
This is Shakespeare girl, returned from my Shakespeare Fact Finding Mission overseas!
OK, so it wasn’t exactly a Shakespeare business trip and more just a super fun Europe tourist vacation. Aside from our myriad tours of palaces and cathedrals (highly recommended – we like palaces and cathedrals), Emma and I made it a priority to seek Shakespeare where he might be found – to wit, we:
-           saw three Shakespeare productions (yay!)
-          went to Stratford-Upon-Avon
-          Saw the Shakespeare birthplace house
-          Saw Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church
-          Saw Shakespeare First Folios at the British Library and at Trinity College, Cambridge (adding to my previous First Folio sighting at the Folger!)
I gained a new understanding of English geography and regional differences, and thrilled at all the Shakespeare connections everywhere  – Kent and the White Cliffs of Dover? King Lear! Northumbria? The House of Percy from the Henry IVs! We were happy to just miss the re-appearance of forces similar to those of our old friend Jack Cade by cleverly fleeing the British Isles for the Continent before the looting broke out; we then explored the vasty fields of France. And as a non-Francophone, I relied heavily on Emma’s superior French-speaking skills and gained a new appreciation for the dismay of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, in Richard II when he is banished:
The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue's use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cased up…
I also want to report my excitement upon visiting Warwick Castle, home of our old friend the Earl of Warwick! The castle was very fun, but Emma and I kind of suspected that we were part of a relatively small percentage of tourists that come there solely because of Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays. (We rejected with scorn an advertised tour purporting that Shakespeare WAS the Earl of Warwick. Or vice versa.) Well, well, Shakespeare has something for everyone, and my case proves that a love of Shakespeare can lead to standing on the battlements of a medieval castle in the heart of England. Hurrah!

On a Tower at Warwick Castle
Coming soon – reviews of Shakespeare performances in England!

No comments:

Post a Comment