Simon Callow Reads from The Canterbury Tales

By April 14, 2017Arty, Video

Simon Callow is best known as an actor, on screen and in theatres; many of you will recognise him from his role as Charles Dickens in Doctor Who (2005 and 2011), or as the voice of Grasshopper in the 1996 film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach.

I adore his silky smooth voice, and wonderfully English manner, so I was thrilled when I came across his reading of an excerpt of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

The Folio Society provides such lusciously illustrated versions of popular books: The Canterbury Tales was wonderfully crafted by illustrator Eric Gill, and boasts many sumptuous designs to feast our eyes upon. The price tag is quite steep at nearly £400, but other versions are available (see links under the video).

We can see the stunning, unique collector’s edition, read by Simon Callow, in the video below.




Find your copy of The Canterbury Tales (Folio Society) here:

US

UK




Ten Favourite Books in One Celebration Cake

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There is something very satisfying about both reading and cake eating and this video covers both bases!

Anne Reardon from How To Cook That brings us her top ten books cakes of all time- as voted by her followers. She asked viewers to vote for their favourite book and after thousands of replies she tallied them up and ended up with a Top Ten Books list to include on her celebration cake.

The result is amazing! See how many well-loved books you can spot in the video below.

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Jerry Spinelli was born in the US state of Pennsylvania in 1941, where he still lives with is wife Eileen, also a children’s writer. Together they have six children and 21 grandchildren. His children inspired him as he wrote his books, although at times he would resort to using cottonwool in his ears to block out the joyfully noisy household. Spinelli says on his website that his own childhood memories are like a library of ideas for his stories. 

Jerry is best known for his literature written for teenagers and young adults, and has been lauded for his poetic and compassionate stories. He was awarded a Newbery Medal in 1991 for Maniac Magee.

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William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin on the 13th of June 1865 and died on the 28th of January 1939. The Irish poet grew up holidaying in County Sligo where a stunning statue dedicated to him stands. Yeats began writing when he was seventeen and was influenced by Percy Shelley, Edmund Spenser, William Blake, and Irish mythology and folklore.

Yeats used symbolism in his poetry, choosing and assembling words to give them meaning while suggesting significant abstract thought. His highly passionate poetry has inspired many fellow poets, writers, and creatives, including the lead singer of 20th century band The Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, who sadly passed away in January 2018. O’Riordan, a life-long Yeats fan, wrote Yeats’ Grave after she visited the place where he was buried.

O’Riordan was born and grew up in County Limerick, Ireland, and studied W.B. Yeats when she was at school. Speaking to Hot Press Magazine in 1994, Dolores expressed how her love for Yeats’ poetry felt at odds with the exam process, and vigorous analysis of the poetry.

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Raymond Briggs was born on the 18th of January 1934 in Surrey, England. Briggs created children’s classics such as Fungus the Bogeyman, Father Christmas, and The Snowman, among others. His passion for drawing came from an early age, and Briggs studied at Slade School of Fine Art, eventually becoming an illustrator for children’s story books. During the 1960s Raymond work as a professional illustrator, and began work on his own stories in the 1970s. In 2017 Briggs was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Birthday Honours for services to literature.

Following his Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him by the Book Trust, author and illustrator Raymond Briggs spoke to BBC Newsnight. Newsnight’s culture correspondent Stephen Smith met Briggs at his cottage in Sussex for the interview below where he spoke as candidly as possible about his illustrations and the popularity that he gained.

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After the successful first season of the television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, A Handmaid’s Tale, the second series is well and truly in the pipeline.

The latest trailer has been released and it looks darkly atmospheric but producer and writer, Bruce Miller, has remained quiet about what is in store for us. It is clear however, that while the story will deal with elements of the original novel, we will enter uncharted territory this season, with Margaret Atwood involved as a consultant.

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