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WOOL-GATHERER 8

‘Feeding the Ghosts’: literary debts to the past.

‘A Cure for Imbecility’: foreign travel in Sterne and Smollett; travellers’ tales in Apollonius of Rhodes, Lucian and Mandeville.

‘The Phoenix and I’: a personal connection with Maud Gonne.

‘The Loyal Heart of England’: the dubious loyalty of the Somerville family (Henry VI Part Three).

‘First Come, First Served’: did Shakespeare steal Burbage’s mistress?

‘A Baleful View of Papistry’: the first history play – Bale’s King Johan.

‘See the World, Learn D.I.Y.’: should a boy read Robinson Crusoe? (see Extracts page)

‘Gadzooks, they didn’t oughter’ve chopped Charles’s head off’: pitfalls of historical reconstruction for literary effect.

‘Migration – a Tall Tale to Swallow’: the ornithological trustworthiness of Gilbert White, Samuel Johnson and a 12th century Bestiary.

‘Good Knight, Ladies, Good Knight’: some themes in the French Arthurian poem The Romance of Yder.

‘They let their Roots Show’: A.E. Housman pokes his nose out of the closet.

‘Just Misunderstood R.I.P.’: Ned Kelly, Robin Hood, and the dubious charms of highwaymen. (see Extracts page)

‘Share the Joke?’: from W.H. Auden to Monty Python.

‘Pernicious Perfumes’: the spleen and its various symptoms.