William Shakespeare, King Lear and King James I

This video is called KING LEAR by William Shakespeare. Starring IAN HOLM.

By Gordon Parsons in Britain:

Shakespeare: a man of his time – and ours

Saturday 17th October 2015

1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear
by James Shapiro
(Faber & Faber, £20)

MOST of the vast output of Shakespearean criticism naturally comes to the Bard through his works. With so little known of the man, even the numerous attempts at biography have had to rely on his poetry and plays.

Indefatigable US academic James Shapiro, though, ploughs a rather different furrow. Following his in-depth study of the social and political context of key years in Shakespeare’s development in 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare — which could have been subtitled The Year of Hamlet — he has produced a sequel exploring the playwright’s dramatic and theatrical responses to the new, troubled Jacobean age.

The new king James I, determined to cement his position by uniting England with Scotland, faced a world of factional infighting fed by the toxic mix of politics and religion. At the centre¸ of course, was the Gunpowder Plot, the equivalent of potential twin-towers devastation.

If successful, it would have wiped out the whole Establishment and the inevitable reaction to its discovery affected every area of the country — even Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shakespeare and his company, newly appointed The King’s Men, were inevitably drawn into the world of the court both as part of the lavish entertainment and official attendants. Having been relatively quiet for a time, the playwright set about writing and producing three of his greatest plays, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

All mirror in language and action the political currents of the time. So where Macbeth is built around the seemingly innocuous term “equivocation,” contemporary theatre-goers, probably the great majority of London’s populace, would have recognised a loaded accusation which had played a key part in unmasking the “traitors.”

There must too have been a note of critical daring in Shakespeare’s King Lear. No doubt James, the uneasy possessor of England’s throne, would [not] have been pleased to have his subjects shown a foolish king dividing his kingdom.

Shakespeare’s play, unlike his sources, does not end triumphantly but with the king’s death and no certainty of a rosy future.

Shapiro’s book reads like a splendid detective story as it fleshes out our recognition of the world from which some of the world’s greatest dramatic works emerged.

In making Shakespeare a man of his own time, it draws him even closer to us.

Summer and winter birds in England

This video shows a greater white-fronted goose, probably from Greenland, between grey lag geese, northern lapwings, wigeons and other birds.

The video was recorded on 12 February 2015 in the Netherlands.

From Slimbridge Wetland Centre in England on Twitter today:

[Barn] Swallow flying over the 31 White-fronted Geese on the Tack Piece. Summer meets winter!

English priest charged with making 3,100 child porn images

This video series says about itself:

Abuse of Trust

31 July 2009

Documentary about Catholic Clerical Child Abuse in Ireland. This documentary focuses on the Dublin Diocese and has interviews from survivors who describe their horrendous experiences of sexual abuse as children, Andrew Madden and Marie Collins. This also interviews the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Catholic priest Paul Clarke charged with making 3,100 indecent images of children

Police said there was no evidence of local children being involved

Lizzie Dearden

Thursday 8 October 2015 13:15 BST

A 71-year-old Roman Catholic priest has been charged with making 3,100 indecent images of children.

Father Paul Clarke, of Redclyffe Road in Urmston, but formerly of Rye in East Sussex, is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court today.

He has been charged with possessing an indecent image of a child, possessing prohibited images, and making a total of 3,100 indecent images of children.

Police searched his former residence at the presbytery of St Anthony of Padua church in Rye on 13 November last year, seizing computers and other alleged evidence.

The Rye News reported that Father Clarke resigned “suddenly” in February, having been at the church since 2009.

British bishop convicted for child abuse

This video from Britain says about itself:

Church Inquiry Into Bishop Peter Ball Abuse Cover Up

The Church of England has announced an independent inquiry into allegations of a cover up of sexual abuse in the church, looking at whether the behaviour of a former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, was overlooked because of his connections within the church and the establishment.

Originally broadcast on the BBC on October 5th, 2015.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Years in prison for Anglican bishop because of abuse

Today, 16:53

A former bishop of the Anglican Church in Britain has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for abuse of boys and young men. The 83-year-old Peter Ball has admitted that he abused eighteen victims in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The judge said the bishop abused his position. His victims have stated that he was sadistic and mentally abused them as well. One of the victims committed suicide.


In 1993 already a 16-year-old victim went to the police. During the investigation that followed, Ball was supported by parliamentarians, ministers and a member of the royal family, reports The Guardian. Ball eventually got only a warning and he resigned.

In 2012 the police started a new investigation. Ball first tried to evade persecution by saying that his health was too ill to stand trial. The judge did not agree with that. Last month the former bishop admitted the abuse.

Prince Charles denies using influence to protect bishop from sex crimes prosecution. Unnamed member of the Royal Family sent a letter of support for Peter Ball as prosecutors considered putting him on trial: here.

The inertia plaguing historic child sexual abuse investigations of Establishment figures does not bode well for any final resolution, writes Steven Walker: here.

Injured bats recovered and freed

This video says about itself:

1 December 2012

The Natterer’s bat in the BBC’s Life of Mammals series. In this clip, Natterer’s bats remove spiders from their webs to eat.

From the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Bat Group in England, on Twitter, 4 October 2015:

Great evening in the flight cage, all 6 flew well enough for release. Lady (Natterer’s) went straight off home.