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A tide in the affairs of men

The Ides of March had me looking up Julius Caesar, recalling my favourite lines from Shakespeare’s play. There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On […]

Shakespeare’s birthday and St George’s Day

Google.co.uk is running this image’s day. It’s St George’s Day — and traditionally celebrated as Shakespeare’s birthday, too. The Writer’s Almanac reminds us why it’s celebrated as Shakespeare’s birthday: Today we celebrate the birthday of William Shakespeare, born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England (1564 -1616). We don’t know his birthday for sure, […]

I can hear music

I love the Beach Boys' song, I Can Hear Music. The ardour of young love and the sweet harmony capture all that is beautiful in life. Yes, it's just a teenage love song, but listen to the jangling guitars, insistent beat and plaintive voices. Isn't that what life is all […]

Martin Amis on life and Kingsley Amis

Martin Amis (left) describes seeing his father, Kingsley Amis (below), in a dream in his autobiography, Experience. Published in 2000, five years after his father's death, it's one of the most intimate accounts of a father-and-son relationship that I have ever read. He writes: Why should I tell the story […]

Shakespeare’s bawdy

William Shakespeare was baptized on this day in 1564 and what a life he led before he died at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616. He explored love and sex in his plays with a detailed vividness that leaves Masters and Johnson looking pretty skimpy, writes Simon Callow […]

Shakespeare: Much ado about love

It's that day of the year when we remember William Shakespeare. Here's a link to the most famous scene from my wife's favourite play —– Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth in the sleepwalking scene. But give me the romantic comedies any day. Boy meets, boy gets girl, and they live […]

Talk Like Shakespeare Day today

Dost thou think, because there's something rotten in the state of the economy, there shall be no more cakes and ale? Fie, dismiss thy fears. We shall revel today in wholesome mirth and laughter in fulsome praise of the genius of Master Shakespeare. Sweet Bard of Avon, begetter of the […]