Victorian Times and a Contested Will!

What on earth am I writing about?
Two books, the latest two I’m reading [at the same time, so I’ll write about them at the same time too.]
The first is a new release by Ruth Goodman, ‘How to be a Victorian.’ based on her utter immersion in the Victorian life-syle of the mid-late 1800’s as she devoted a year to living on a Victorian farm and lived as though the twentieth century was 100 years away!
What Victorians ate, drank, wore, believed was healthy, how they slept, moved, worked, dressed. All while wearing whalebone corsets and doing laundry by hand and leaning over copper wash tubs.
The book is fascinating reading and I can only be grateful that we no longer give our babies a product commonly used called ‘Godfrey’s Cordial’ which was a ‘tonic’ for restless babies and worked like a charm because it was made with a mixture of pure opium, alcohol and morphine.
The book is so well researched and written it’s hard to put down even while it documents in fine detail the life style of our English forebears! {Amazing that they survived childhood!}
I highly recommend it.

The other book is titled ‘Contested Will – Who wrote Shakespeare?’ by James Shapiro
Now, we’ve all heard theories about whether Shakespeare wrote his plays or not..did he have help? A co-author? Did he even have the education and therefore the language and vocabulary to write as prolifically and complexly as he did? Consider too that the English language attributes thousands of new words added to it, by Will Shakespeare. Are they his words?
The author Shapiro, attempts quite vigorously to establish both sides of the argument, proving or disproving every theory as he raises it, very efficiently.
But why did no-one ask Will Shakespeare himself, at the time? Why did no-one interview him or the his relatives after he died?
And quite astonishingly – why did Will Shakespeare not even mention any of his writings in his legal will? Who did he leave his work with? Where are the documents?
All these questions and more are discussed and explained logically in this book and once again, it’s well researched, logically handled and fascinating reading….
I’d love the opportunity to have that last chat with old Will, wouldn’t you?


About loulouszal

Hi, I have always loved stories, from Dr Suess to Enid Blyton, to Roald Dahl, as a child and on to Jane Austen as a teen and adult. I love writing stories and poems too. I think writing and reading fantasy is a great way to travel, in your head and visit places you might never otherwise see. they can be as wonderful as you want to make them. I kept writing as a hobby all through my teen years and then as an adult, married with children ,I wrote stories for my family and read them out aloud as we traveled on long car trips in foreign countries. "The Diary of Arnmore" is one of these stories, followed closely by "Hungry Mr Croc." Two very different stories, aimed at completely different age groups, but both definately worth a read!
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