Sunday, November 04, 2007

"Testoterone. Such a boring hormone. Estrogen, now: You can never tell what that will trigger."

~Athenaide D. Preston in Jennifer Lee Carrell’s Interred with their Bones.

Have i ever mentioned that i’m a huge fan of Shakespeare? Perhaps i have. One of my fondest dreams has always been to take up residence somewhere as a librarian at a Shakespeare library. Shakespeare combines my love of theatre with my love of writing and then there’s all the intrigue of “who really wrote Shakespeare?” (though i’m a fairly strict Stratfordian, it’s still a little fun to speculate) Interred with their Bones is a rather Shakespearean (but perhaps faster-moving) Historian (which I loved, by the by) or, if you must, Da Vinci Code (which I never read, never will read). Written by a Shakespearean scholar it is spot on with its facts (though i do seem to remember a "found" or "restored" or some such version of the Shakespeare/Fletcher History of Cardenio coming out about thirteen years ago or so (i remember shelving it in the drama books, but what do i know?)
Katharine Stanley has left Shakespearean scholarship for Shakespearean theatre and has never looked back (and her former mentor Rosalind Howard has never forgiven her for it). Whilst Kate is directing Hamlet at the Globe in London said mentor appears tempting Kate with an offer she tells her she darst not refuse giving her a gift and telling her, "If you open it, you must follow where it leads." Then Roz promptly dies, upping the suspense quota. So Kate begins her journey and everywhere she goes she leaves bodies, destruction, and further questions in her wake.
Carrell seems to do a very good job of explaining the relevant Shakespearean and Elizabethan facts for the neophyte without talking down to those of us who might know what she's talking about. It's a difficult task to neither over or under explain. A fast-paced, enjoyable, intriguing ride. Maybe i should start reading more escapist literature. It does serve its purpose.

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