FT: Emigrants by James Evans

Otto von Bismarck was once asked to identify the pre-eminent fact in modern world history. That America spoke English, he replied. In Emigrants, James Evans attempts to explain how and why that happened. For much of the 17th century, England was something of a failed state. In mid-century it collapsed into a brutal and protracted... Continue Reading →

TLS: So High A Blood by Morgan Ring

So High A Blood explores in detail the life of Margaret, Countess of Lennox, a Tudor princess without whom, perhaps, there would have been no Stewart succession and no subsequent union between England and Scotland. Born in 1515, Margaret was the daughter of Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of Henry VII, by her second husband... Continue Reading →

The Hollow Crown: Q&A

After the screening of both parts of Henry IV at the BFI on July 2 – reviewed here – Sam Mendes led a Q&A with the director Sir Richard Eyre and Simon Russell Beale, who played Falstaff. Richard Eyre explained that Henry IV parts I and II were his second favourite Shakespeare plays after King... Continue Reading →

Review: The Hollow Crown: Richard II

The BBC’s new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henriad quartet of history plays, broadcast under the title The Hollow Crown, began with Richard II, directed by Rupert Goold and adapted by Goold and his longstanding colleague in the theatre Ben Power. There is a saying - I associate it with John Huston, but I have seen it... Continue Reading →

Review: The Hollow Crown: Henry V

I was privileged to be invited to a screening at the British Museum on Friday night of the new BBC film version of Henry V, the fourth part of its Hollow Crown tetralogy, which also includes Richard II and Henry IV parts I and II. The season is a BBC co-production with Sam Mendes’ Neal... Continue Reading →

Review: The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

The Crown is the début novel by American journalist and writer Nancy Bilyeau. Set in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace – and in particular the reprisals that followed its suppression - and against the backdrop of the dissolution of monasteries, its central character is Joanna Stafford, a young novice at Dartford Priory in... Continue Reading →

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