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Posts Tagged ‘Clifford Chambers’

The evening of 31st July was fine and the sun shone through the windows of St Helen’s Church. We enjoyed cakes, ale and wine in the grounds. However, the real purpose for our gathering  in Clifford Chambers on this occasion was to hear about this “other Tudor poet ” Michael Drayton.  A most enjoyable  and witty talk (illustrated with readings) was given by Roger Pringle and doubtless Roger has inspired some of us to make another literary pilgrimage but this time to Westminster Abbey to see the grave of this contemporary of Shakespeare.

It will also be good to read some of Drayton’s work, whether it be his epic poem based on the Wars of the Roses -The Baron’s Wars -or his equally epic work about England -Poly  Olbion  (fascinating title !). His sonnets will also repay careful study, especially the one containing these quite philosophical words to his true love, Anne (coincidence?) -“Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part”.

I note that the Complete Works of Michael Drayton are available in paperback, so maybe they will be put on my “what would you like for Christmas? ” list  (as well as RSC gift vouchers !).

During his talk, Roger mentioned the popular rumour that Drayton MAY have been involved in that celebrated Pub crawl with Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. We were also reminded that at this moment in history, Clifford Chambers was in the County of Gloucestershire. That set me thinking. In Henry IV -Part 2, Shakespeare transports us to Gloucestershire when Falstaff visits Justice Shallow in order to collect recruits, and scrounge hospitality. In view of the proximity of Clifford to Stratford, Shakespeare may well have visited and if so, was THIS the Gloucestershire which inspired him?

Interesting. Maybe the celebrated pub crawl and possible inspiration for a scene from The Histories are in themselves suggestions for new work. One thing is certain, any new play based on such material would be splendidly promoted by the  RSC Marketing Dept.

Excuse me, while I finish here and sharpen my quill …

Tony Boyd-Williams

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On Saturday 31st July, a special event will take place in St Helen’s Church, Clifford Chambers, as part of the Stratford -upon-Avon Poetry Festival 2010.Beginning at 7.30 pm Roger Pringle (former Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ) will give a talk with readings based on Michael Drayton, contemporary of W S and who may (?) have been one of his later drinking companions in local villages. Be that as it may, Drayton was born in Hartshill, near Nuneaton ,and spent his summers in Warwickshire, especially visiting Clifford Chambers.

This promises to be a most enjoyable evening, remembering another poetical son of Warwickshire and who is particularly remembered for HIS sonnet about love. We are also promised cakes and ale, so why not make a literary pilgrimage to this lovely church on the above date and hear more about this “other ” Tudor poet?

Tickets £5 from The Shakespeare Bookshop ,39 Henley Street, Stratford CV37 6QW (telephone :01789 292176 ) or telephone 01789 268156 or 262924

Tony Boyd-Williams

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