My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Sunday, October 30


What an unusual movie. I went to see Anonymous yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. As an old English teacher, I really wanted to see how London in Elizabethan times looked, or at least how the movie makers would make it look, but even more, I wanted to see The Rose and The Globe theatres. London seemed to be cleaner than I thought it would be; the two theatres were shaped as I knew they were, but I hadn’t realized how close the audience was to the stage and actors. The groundlings (the cheap non-seats) were right there and in several scenes were able to grab an actor and embrace him for his performance. The story was about half and half, half the mystery of who actually wrote the poems and plays ascribed to William Shakespeare, and half the politics surrounding Queen Elizabeth and who should be next in line to the throne when she died. Elizabeth’s advisors, William Cecil and later his hunchback son Robert, provide the movie's villainy. The plot was maybe too flashback-confusing, bouncing back and forth between the young and old Elizabeth and Edward, and the complexities of the political intrigue throughout her reign. The question of the authorship has always intrigued scholars, with Ben Johnson and Christopher Marlow the most frequently suggested alternates to Shakespeare. Here, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, is portrayed as the real author, who had to write the plays and poetry anonymously because of the Puritan pressures of the day. He writes, he says, because he has to, he’s driven to it, the words pouring out almost against his Will. (Oh, please forgive me. Like Oxford, I couldn’t help myself.) Vanessa Redgrave played the elder Elizabeth, and played her very well, really bad teeth and all, and her daughter, Joely Richardson, played the younger, very much non-virgin queen. Although the historical points were stretched to implausible lengths, the costumes and the pomp and circumstance of the period made this an enjoyable afternoon for me. The only problem? Too many viewers might think Anonymous depicts reality rather than fiction—that Shakespeare really was only a drunken, illiterate actor; that the Earl of Oxford was the true author of the plays and poetry; that Elizabeth had a number of bastard children, and was even guilty of incest. This wouldn’t be a movie for every taste, but if you enjoy costume drama, you’ll like this one.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - Groundlings hoisting Will - - - - - - - - - - -

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Any comments? Write me at