I usually am up-to-date on my Masterpiece Theater viewing, but I missed this biopic about the Brontë sisters when it first aired a couple of years ago. Fortunately, Mary-Esther suggested it to me, and I’m glad she did! It’s a well-acted, well-made dramatization of one of the most famous literary families in history.
We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?
Nobody really knows when William Shakespeare was born, but April 23 is commonly accepted as his birthday due to his baptism date. That makes today his 455th birthday (maybe, probably).
Now I like Shakespeare as much as the next former English major, even though I kind of hold him responsible for breaking my left ankle five years ago–that’s a long story, but he’s as guilty as, well, any number of his murderous characters.
My personal favorite Shakespeare plays include Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Richard III, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night.
As much as I enjoy the Bard of Avon, I also enjoy a good Shakespeare retelling. I’m not usually a fan of reworkings of pre-existing content. Anyone who has ever had to listen to me complain about the amount of sequels and remakes that flood the movie market every year knows this. But Shakespeare himself was reworking well-known stories, so there seems something so fitting in borrowing his plots and characters and reworking them for different times and places.
If you want to celebrate Shakespeare with any number of his classic plays or filmed versions of them, go for it! We have plenty of that in our system. But we also have some more unusual ways to celebrate his work. . . .
Doc Holliday probably needs no introduction. He’s one of the more mythic figures of the American West–the well-educated, consumptive, Georgia-born dandy, dentist, and gambler/gunfighter who tag-teamed with the Earp Brothers for the Gunfight at the OK Corral in the Arizona boomtown of Tombstone.
Most pop culture depictions of Holliday offer the legend called Doc. Though Mary Doria Russell chose that nickname as the title for her book, her focus is much more on the John Henry Holliday lurking underneath the legend.
This book was suggested to me by Leslie, one of my undergraduate English professors. Last year, she recommended The Hunting Accident to me, and recently, she asked me if I was familiar with Russell’s work. I quickly remedied that oversight, and I am so glad I did. Thanks for the wonderful recommendation, Leslie!
Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For April, we’re looking at a modern literary tale of family life in rural Newfoundland, a charming memoir about familial culture clashes, and a new book in a long-running Canadian murder mystery series.