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JuliansAbroad: El Toro y La Cruz Posts

Read This Book: Wuthering Heights

Back when I posted about Pride & Prejudice, I mentioned that Anna had also added Wuthering Heights to my list for 2016. I’m glad she did. It’s excellent. If you have not yet read it, you should. The copy to which I’ve linked here is one that I put together when I was learning how to format books for Kindle and how to design a suitable book cover. There are dozens of fine, free copies available on Amazon as well.

A Few Thoughts:

One of our friends divides the world into two groups: Jane Eyre people or Wuthering Heights people. I knew going into this book that I am definitely not a Jane Eyre person. The recent film adaptation was excellent, but when I read the book back in college, I was irritated with the characters, the voice, the plot, etc. I mean, seriously. A crazy woman in the attic? An idiot missionary? She still marries the dude?

Anyhow, it irritated me. So, given my friend’s opinion, and given Anna’s description of the book as “excellent and dark and broody,” I was keen to check it out.

It’s great. Seriously great.

There’s a fun stack of narrative voices. The book opens with the primary narrator, Lockwood. It then jumps into housekeeper Nelly’s history of the families of Wuthering Heights. And throughout her tale, several other narrators recount their own experiences to her, which she is then recounting to Lockwood, who is then recounting them to us. This is more than mere experimentation, however. The layers of narrative bring layers of reliability, of judgment, of interpretation, etc. And Brontë uses all of this to great effect. By the end, I was convinced that Nelly is responsible in some way for a great number of the ills suffered by the various participants in this tragic tale. She basically admits as much at one point, stating:

“I seated myself in a chair, and rocked to and fro, passing harsh judgment on my many derelictions of duty; from which, it struck me then, all the misfortunes of my employers sprang.”

Yep. She’s not wrong.

This reminds me. The relationships are confusing. It took me several tries to understand who was cousin or sibling or otherwise connected to whom. Finally, I had to resort to Wikipedia’s “relationships map” to figure it out. I think I kind of understand it, but if you were to ask me to explain it, I’d be in trouble.

Additionally, the book deals with the selfishness of human evil in a way that few books do. I lost count of how many times a character declared their willingness to suffer eternal condemnation if only they could have some measure of vengeance on another, or if only they could avoid some unpleasant outcome. I’m not entirely sure, but I think Heathcliff digs up a grave twice. And at least twice, characters hang dogs for sport or pleasure. Anna wasn’t joking when she said it was “dark and broody.”

Brontë does something interesting in her treatment of human depravity, however. It’s there, on full display, but it’s also clear just how unsatisfying it really is. For example, when Heathcliff could have his final revenge, he states that he no longer has the will to see it through. He simply can’t find joy in destroying his enemies, so he refrains from doing so. Not because he has repented, but because he can no longer be bothered. There’s a quote from this section below. It’s an impressive turn. Most authors would either have the villain see his villainy through, or the protagonists accomplish some escape. Brontë makes the unusual but gratifying choice to have Heathcliff simply wander away from the conflict in disinterest. Given the supreme selfishness of his life, it’s a fitting resolution.

Oh, and I could hardly understand a word he said, but Joseph is by far the most amusing character.

A Few Quotes:

Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff’s dwelling.  ‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.

“Joseph, the servant: you saw him, I daresay, up yonder.  He was, and is yet most likely, the wearisomest self-righteous Pharisee that ever ransacked a Bible to rake the promises to himself and fling the curses to his neighbours.”

“You have been compelled to cultivate your reflective faculties for want of occasions for frittering your life away in silly trifles.”

Joseph remained to hector over tenants and labourers; and because it was his vocation to be where he had plenty of wickedness to reprove.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”

“I believe I may assert that they were really in possession of deep and growing happiness. It ended.  Well, we must be for ourselves in the long run; the mild and generous are only more justly selfish than the domineering; and it ended when circumstances caused each to feel that the one’s interest was not the chief consideration in the other’s thoughts.”

“I wish you had sincerity enough to tell me whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss: the fear that she would restrains me.  And there you see the distinction between our feelings: had he been in my place, and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him.  You may look incredulous, if you please!  I never would have banished him from her society as long as she desired his.  The moment her regard ceased, I would have torn his heart out, and drunk his blood!  But, till then—if you don’t believe me, you don’t know me—till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!”

“I’d be glad of a retaliation that wouldn’t recoil on myself; but treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.”

” In my flight through the kitchen I bid Joseph speed to his master; I knocked over Hareton, who was hanging a litter of puppies from a chair-back in the doorway; and, blessed as a soul escaped from purgatory, I bounded, leaped, and flew down the steep road; then, quitting its windings, shot direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading through marshes: precipitating myself, in fact, towards the beacon-light of the Grange.  And far rather would I be condemned to a perpetual dwelling in the infernal regions than, even for one night, abide beneath the roof of Wuthering Heights again.”

“It is a poor conclusion, is it not?’ he observed, having brooded awhile on the scene he had just witnessed: “an absurd termination to my violent exertions?  I get levers and mattocks to demolish the two houses, and train myself to be capable of working like Hercules, and when everything is ready and in my power, I find the will to lift a slate off either roof has vanished!  My old enemies have not beaten me; now would be the precise time to revenge myself on their representatives: I could do it; and none could hinder me.  But where is the use?  I don’t care for striking: I can’t take the trouble to raise my hand!  That sounds as if I had been labouring the whole time only to exhibit a fine trait of magnanimity.  It is far from being the case: I have lost the faculty of enjoying their destruction, and I am too idle to destroy for nothing.”

So, that’s that. Read Wuthering Heights.

Happy Reading,
Dan J.

Maybe Read This Book: What You Have Left (The Turner Trilogy)

If you check my reading list, I had originally intended to move from Austen’s Pride & Prejudice directly to Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. But after finishing a ramble through England in the early 1800’s, I wanted a change of pace before returning. So, I jumped ahead on the list and picked up James Sallis’ What You Have Left.

In reality, this is not one book, but three: Cypress Grove, Cripple Creek, and Salt Water, published in 2003, 2006, and 2007, respectively. I only say that because it makes me feel a bit better about being behind schedule on my reading list.

Sallis will be most familiar to those who have seen the movie Drive (which I am not recommending; it’s very violent and has some sexual content). On the surface, this trilogy of books bears very little similarity to that film; the setting is different, the conflict is less clearly defined and much less central to the tale, the preoccupations of the protagonists are very different. But at their core, both the film and the trilogy address the some similar circumstances: a man set apart from civilization, dragged into a conflict he doesn’t want, and compelled to do violent and questionable things in order to resolve that conflict for the safety of those he cares about.

It’s hard to summarize the plot of the Turner trilogy, because the plot felt so unimportant to the work as a whole. A quick summary would be that John Turner, a former policeman, retired therapist, and ex-convict, is asked to help solve a murder in the tiny community near his cabin. He agrees to help, and over the rest of the first book and throughout the next two, grows more closely knit with his little community, develops a better understanding of his own past, and solves the few crimes that come across his desk. In the second book, he’s drawn by accident and happenstance into a violent confrontation with organized crime, and his loved ones suffer the consequences. By the end of the third book, he’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness (probably cancer), he’s reunited with his long-lost daughter, and his community has begun a rapid decline into obsolescence.

A few thoughts:

Most reviewers praise Sallis’ language. One reviewer calls his third book, “A sweet song of the South from a crime novelist with the ear of a poet.” Another praises his “lean, sinewy prose.” They’re not wrong. Sallis is a wordsmith, and the lack of a clear, compelling, central conflict is easily overlooked once one realizes what he brings to the table: beautiful prose and an honest treatment of his character’s nihilistic worldview.

I said, as with Chabon’s Yiddish Policemen’s Union, “maybe read this book.” In this case, I qualified it not as a consequence of the content, but as a consequence of the book’s character and characters. I think many–especially those enthralled with the electronic cool of Drive, or those who come in the mood for a Southern gothic crime novel–will find that What You Have Left is not what they are looking for. Instead, it is a slow, thoughtful, meandering exploration of life’s apparent meaninglessness and fragility. John Turner doesn’t read, at least to me, as a clear hero (or anti-hero) but rather as a selfish and self-important bore. The first person narration only underscores this sense, and there were several instances where I wished the protagonist would just stop trying to impress the reader with his “world-weary and world-wise” observations. But then, spend an afternoon with someone who views the world like John Turner does, and you’ll probably feel the same way.

As I said above, I think Sallis did a fantastic job creating a self-righteous nihilist, and there’s much for a Christian reader to consider in this book. From my (admittedly limited) perspective, I think self-righteous nihilism is a very sensible philosophy for an atheist, and in What You Have Left, one gets the chance to better grasp what drives those with such a worldview: their complete disenchantment with the world and its inhabitants, and their insistence on doing what they feel is the right thing regardless of the consequences. In many ways, my own theological convictions allow for significant agreement, but I have a joyful hope that John Turner will not allow himself.

A few quotes:

“Pleased to have you, Detective.”

“Just Turner. I haven’t been a detective for a long time.”

“Hope you’re not telling us you forget how,” Bates said.

“No. What happens is, you stop believing it matters.”

“What changed?”

“Nothing. Something. Me?” She smiled. “I wanted to, anyway. Do we ever, really?”



“If we don’t—if we can’t—nothing else makes much sense, does it?”

Most investigations are little more than paint by the numbers. You ask a string of questions in the proper order, when they don’t get answered you ask them again, sooner or later you find your way to the husband or wife, spurned boy-or girlfriend, business partner, parent, younger brother, gardener, eccentric uncle, jealous neighbor.

What she did was to her the most important thing in the world. I think deep down it may have been the only thing she really cared about. A lot of people who are outstanding at what they do seem to be like that. The rest of us look on, at once admiring and critical; vaguely ashamed of ourselves and our wayward lives.

Thing about cell phones is you can’t slam the receiver down.

As a counselor, of course, I’d have been quick to point out that we always make our choices, and that not choosing was as much a choice as any other. Such homilies are, as much as anything else, the reason I’d quit. It’s too easy once you learn the tricks. You start off believing that you’re discovering a way of seeing the world clearly, but you’re really only learning a language— a dangerous language whose very narrowness fools you into believing you understand why people do the things they do. But we don’t. We understand so little of anything.

As I rode back toward home, along the river for a time before swinging inland, I watched a sky like old-time saddle shoes: horizon bright right up to the curving border where all went suddenly dark. It had been a season for storms. I remembered my grandfather’s storm cellar, bare earthen walls, doors thick as tables with brackets into which you’d swing a two-by-four to close them, wood shelves sagging beneath the weight of water jugs, canned food, lanterns, and fuel. We’d all go down in there as the winds began, sit listening to them howl. As a kid I always expected the world to be new, fresh, changed all for the better, when we came back up. By the time I was ten or so we had stopped joining Grandad and his new family in the cellar, rode out the winds like modern folk.

Altruism gets handed to me, I’m automatically peeling back the label, looking to see what’s underneath.

So, maybe read What You Have Left, but do so knowing that you’re not getting a crime novel, and you’re not getting Drive. But you are getting a fairly interesting, fairly well-written investigation of the world as it is through the eyes of someone who can’t find any hope.

Happy Reading,
Dan J.

Read This Book: Pride and Prejudice

When I started hammering out a list of books for 2016, I asked Anna, “What books would you recommend I add?”

She didn’t hesitate: something by Jane Austen, preferably Pride & Prejudice. And then one of the Brontë sisters. Oh, Wuthering Heights! She started to list a few others, but I stopped her there. I mean, I have limits.

So, after much trepidation and several days of anxiously considering whether I might re-work my reading list and “accidentally” forget to include Austen, I finally jumped into it.

And I’m glad I did. Prior to reading Pride & Prejudice, my only exposure to her work has been through the film adaptations of her work. Lots of dresses and dances and knowing glances. Little comments by characters that sent Anna and her sister into wry fits of giggles and left me totally bewildered.

But the reality is that Austen writes better than a film can adapt. I don’t know how she does it, but with just a few strokes, she paints characters (even minor characters) that jump to life with all their quirks and foibles. In two or three lines of dialogue, you have a clear, hilarious understanding of Mr. Collins, for example.

The plot of Pride & Prejudice, though easy to forecast (probably as a result of slowly ingesting the contours of the story every time Anna re-watched the movie), still created genuine tension. Something that really gets under my skin when I’m reading is the perpetuation of an injustice—someone has been harmed or someone is seeking help or someone has been slandered, and for page after page, justice is denied them. So, when Bingley’s sisters actively intervene to thwart his growing love for Jane, it’s genuinely stressful. And when Wickham’s behavior proves so destructive to the Bennet family, it’s truly upsetting.

I’m not going to attempt to summarize the plot here. You can find it on Wikipedia, if you want. But I recommend you read the book instead.

A few thoughts:
I looked it up. The movie version that I’ve seen was from 2005, and it stars Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden. I didn’t like it at all. If I remember correctly, Anna wasn’t a fan either. I just asked her, and she confirmed that she did not like it. I made the mistake of asking, “Why not?” and she’s still hollering about it from the other room.

Anna says the BBC version is worth watching. The six-hour version. She said, “It captures the characters better.” I said, “Six hours?” And she laughed.

Jane Austen’s skill is overwhelming. I wanted to say, “It’s her sentences.” Or “It’s her characters.” Or “It’s her plotlines.” But it’s pretty all-encompassing.

Really, you owe it to yourself to read Pride & Prejudice. Then tell Anna you read it because that will make her happy. But don’t tell her I told you it was good, or she’ll try to add a bunch more to my 2017 reading list.

Oh, and I read this version on Kindle. I started with another, but it was poorly formatted. When I switched to this version, I discovered the first was also missing several sentences at the end of the first chapter. Kind of strange, but there you have it.

A few quotes:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

“Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.”

“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.”

“Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable.”

The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.

At length, quite exhausted by the attempt to be amused with her own book, which she had only chosen because it was the second volume of his, she gave a great yawn and said, “How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest for some amusement…

***This quote made me laugh out loud:

By tea-time, however, the dose had been enough, and Mr. Bennet was glad to take his guest into the drawing-room again, and, when tea was over, glad to invite him to read aloud to the ladies. Mr. Collins readily assented, and a book was produced; but, on beholding it (for everything announced it to be from a circulating library), he started back, and begging pardon, protested that he never read novels. Kitty stared at him, and Lydia exclaimed.

“Indeed, Mr. Bennet,” said she, “it is very hard to think that Charlotte Lucas should ever be mistress of this house, that I should be forced to make way for her, and live to see her take her place in it!”

“My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things. Let us flatter ourselves that I may be the survivor.”

The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.

“There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.”

“She had better have stayed at home,” cried Elizabeth; “perhaps she meant well, but, under such a misfortune as this, one cannot see too little of one’s neighbours. Assistance is impossible; condolence insufferable. Let them triumph over us at a distance, and be satisfied.”

“If you were to give me forty such men, I never could be so happy as you. Till I have your disposition, your goodness, I never can have your happiness.

So, that’s book number four. If you’re keeping track, I’m behind. I’ve already finished What You Have Left, by James Sallis, and will be working on a post about it soon. I’ve just started Wuthering Heights, and Anna’s overjoyed.

Happy Reading,
Dan J.

Maybe Read This Book: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

I love reading what Michael Chabon writes. As an American author, he has few living peers. When he’s average, he’s better than average, and when he’s on, he can break your heart.

Given that love for Chabon, I don’t know why it took me so long to sit down and read this book. Last year I read a collection of Chabon’s essays, two collections of short fiction, and an early novel, but The Yiddish Policemen’s Union has been sitting on my shelf longer than all of those. On reflection, I can only conclude that the reason I read those first was because they were on my Kindle, and for my reading habits, the convenience of a Kindle significantly exceeds that of a single, paper volume.

But on my shelf it sat, for maybe six years, its brightly colorful dust-jacket collecting dust, its title full of promise.

This year, as I mentioned, I’m trying to mix my reading between Kindle and paper copies. I also put together a list of fiction both literary and genre (ha!), old and new, American and international. And a few of these books are setting there like treats, drawing me on through the less-anticipated works, like King John or This Side of Paradise. Chabon’s book was one of these treats.

And it was a treat. The story was entertaining. The language was—as always with Chabon—beautiful. The characters were tragic and hilarious. The resolution was resolute.

The quick and dirty summary of the plot: in an alternate history, Israel’s attempt at nationhood failed in the late 40’s, and the United States granted some land in Sitka, Alaska to Jewish exiles. After 60 years, the US government is dominated by a group of apocalyptically-minded and fairly loony evangelical Christians who are on the verge of shutting down the temporary Jewish state and returning Sitka to Native American control. The main character, Meyer Landsman, is an alcoholic, divorced, nihilistic detective investigating the murder of a neighbor who turns out to be someone much more important than expected. And with that opening, the case proceeds to wind its way through the various corners of Sitka’s dying society, coming to a satisfying and dissatisfying conclusion.

Among other awards, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won the Nebula, Locus, Sidewise, and Hugo awards.

A few thoughts:

You’ll notice I changed the title from “Read This Book” to “Maybe Read This Book.” Here’s why: Chabon has always treated his own Jewish heritage with some mixture of skepticism, frustration, love, and confusion. In this book, he does the same for the most part, but unfortunately dips into hateful invectives at times. I’m not sure, but if I had to guess, I’d say he was pretty frustrated with conservative political perspectives during the second President Bush’s administration—the various cheap shots are buried, but not too buried to miss. Case-in-point: the sub-plot involving a mysterious cabal of evangelical Christians who are not only controlling the government from the White House down to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but who are also arranging a series of geo-political events with the goal of bringing about the final apocalypse.

This is where alternate histories fail for me. Some writers of alternate history use their alternate histories to condemn or warn about some trend the author sees in our history. But, as someone wiser than me put it, all they’re saying is that things would be different if things were different. But things aren’t, so they’re not. In other words, there really are some evangelicals influencing government, but they have not been nearly as nefarious as those in this book, so it is pretty difficult to take too seriously Chabon’s hand-wringing over the possible disasters such evangelicals could bring about.

Also, last week, as I was looking at possible markets for my short stories, I ran across this hilarious (and all-too-accurate) line requesting that people stop submitting stories about “near future Christian fascist dystopias”:

“We’ve seen a lot of these lately, and they’re beginning to strike us as more ludicrous than nightmarish. You can’t get a bunch of Christians to cooperate long enough to run a church rummage sale, much less an oppressive police state.”


Additionally, I’ve changed the title from “Read this Book” to “Maybe Read This Book” because there is some content that would maybe make my mom blush. To be fair, the sexual content is anything but titillating. In fact, Chabon treats sex and sexual feeling with the a level of care that is unusual these days—as something that matters, that affects us, and that runs deeper than simple satisfaction. But still, you might rather skip it.

A few quotes:

“Night is an orange smear over Sitka, a compound of fog and the light of sodium-vapor streetlamps. It has the translucence of onions cooked in chicken fat.”

“Brennan studied German in college and learned his Yiddish from some pompous old German at the Institute, and he talks, somebody once remarked, ‘like a sausage recipe with footnotes.’”

“Men tend to cry, in Landsman’s experience, when they have been living for a long time with a sense of rightness and safety, and then they realize that all along, just under their boots, lay the abyss. That is part of the policeman’s job, to jerk back the pretty carpet that covers over the deep jagged hole in the floor.”

“‘When it comes to marriage I like to let other people make the mistakes,’ Landsman says. ‘My ex-wife, for example.’”

“Then he looks at the picture, and in the instant before he regains absolute control of his features Landsman sees Zimbalist take a swift punch in the belly. The wind departs his lungs, and the blood drains from his face. In his eyes, the steady maven flicker of intelligence is snuffed out. For a second Landsman is looking at a Polaroid of a dead boundary maven. Then the lights come back on in the old fart’s face. Berko and Landsman wait a little, and then a little more, and Landsman understands that the boundary maven is fighting as hard as he can to maintain that control, to hold on to the chance of making his next words Detectives, I have never seen that man before in my life, and having it sound plausible, inevitable, true.”

“They were both past the age of foolish passion, so they were passionate without being fools.”

“The clock on the hospital wall hummed to itself, got antsy, kept snapping off pieces of the night with its minute hand.”

“Like most policemen, Landsman sails double-hulled against tragedy, stabilized against heave and storm. It’s the shallows he has to worry about, the hairline fissures, the little freaks of torque. The memory of that summer, for example, or the thought that he has long since exhausted the patience of a kid who once would have waited a thousand years to spend an hour with him shooting cans off a fence with an air rifle. The sight of the Longhouse breaks some small, as yet unbroken facet of Landsman’s heart. All of the things they made, during their minute in this corner of the map, dissolved in brambles of salmonberry and oblivion.”

So, maybe read this book. Maybe read anything by Chabon, and thank me later.

Happy Hunting,
Dan J.

Read This Play: The Life and Death of King John

Anna insists that I’ve read other plays by Shakespeare. That we read Macbeth or maybe Romeo & Juliet in high school. And maybe so. I don’t remember. I remember scenes from those plays, but that might also be the consequence of a general cultural familiarity with a few of Shakespeare’s better-known works.

Assuming Anna is correct, “The Life & Death of King John” is not my first Shakespeare. Anna’s usually correct.

But I suppose I can still claim its the first work by Shakespeare that I’ve read of my own volition rather than for a grade. That counts for something, surely.

As with Don Quixote, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought: “Well, I will probably be looking up a lot of words. I’ll probably get pretty bored. I’ll probably be totally confused as to who is who and what is happening.”

And, with the exception of some boredom, I was wrong. For the most part, the language was clear, the action was easy enough to follow (though see my second thought below), and I found myself surprised at what a quick read it actually was.

The rough plot is: King John is trying to maintain his throne against the claims of his nephew. The nephew has the support of France, and temporarily of the Vatican. John, through combat, diplomacy, and murder, succeeds in defending his throne. Then he dies.

A few thoughts:

Shakespeare, shmakespeare.

I read it on my Kindle, which worked fine. I have no point of comparison, but I am happy with the edition I purchased. Most of the footnotes were unnecessary, but when they were needed, they were very helpful.

I found that it was much easier to understand the plot and dialogue after I did two things: (1) I read Wikipedia’s synopsis of the play, and (2) I read a bit about the historic King John. These two things made it possible for me to put the words and action in context, so that I was able to enjoy the story rather than spend half of my time trying to figure out who was who and what was happening.

On that note, several friends recommended watching the play before reading it. Good luck. Very few playhouses perform King John these days, and there has been only one (silent) film production and two television adaptations—the last being in 1984 and unavailable online. You can, if you are interested, watch the Wichita Shakespeare Company perform the play in a park on YouTube.

And finally, I was surprised at how easy it was to read. Seriously. If you’re considering reading a play by Shakespeare so that you can say, “Yeah, I’ve read some Shakespeare. No big deal,” at your next party, then read “The Life and Death of King John”. There are some dry passages and some monologues that will make you wonder if you should be washing the dishes or engaged in some other productive task, but for the most part it’s an easy, quick read.

A few quotes:

BASTARD: For he is but a bastard to the time
That doth not smack of observation.

BASTARD: Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
And say there is no sin but to be rich:
And being rich, my virtue then shall be
To say there is no vice but beggary.

CONSTANCE: War, war, no peace! Peace is to me a war

CONSTANCE: When law can do no right,
Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong

LEWIS: Strong reasons make strange actions

KING JOHN: Why seek’st thou to possess me with these fears?
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur’s death?
Thy hand hath murdered him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
HUBERT: No had, my lord! Why, did you not provoke me?
KING JOHN: It is the curse of kings to be attended
By slaves that take their humours for a warrant

KING JOHN: How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Make deeds ill done!

Well, that’s the second book from my 2016 list. I think if you have the time, you should give “The Life and Death of King John” a go.

Happy Reading,
Dan J.