I am just getting back from a wonderful trip to England. Autumn arrived while we were there, though everyone thought it felt more like Indian summer. The weather was beautiful -- sparkling sunshine and blue skies. Once I catch my breath, I will write more about the trip. But here are a few highlights from bustling London:
Anne Boleyn crowned as queen in "Wolf Hall"
Photo via here
Photo via here
A performance of the breathtaking "Wolf Hall," the play based on Hillary Mantel's gripping novel about Thomas Cromwell. The drama starts out with a glittering court dance and rapidly descends into strategic plotting in dark castles. Thomas Cromwell is at the center of things as he tries to help the King get out of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon so he can marry Anne Boleyn. We watch as Cromwell rises to power and his mentor Cardinal Wolsey sinks into disgrace. Do you remember the actor Nathaniel Parker who played Inspector Lynley on the television series of the same name? He stars as King Henry VIII and is fantastic in the role. Ben Miles who plays Cromwell is also excellent. He is in every scene and you can't take your eyes off of him. Just as the novel did, this play makes history live and breathe.
Tower of London
The art installation at The Tower of London to commemorate 100 years since World War I. The red ceramic poppies represent fallen British soldiers and have been added every day since August. By November the moat will be full. It was a poignant sight to behold.
A visit to the lovely Peter Harrington Rare Books was a reminder of the beauty of books. I have never seen so many beautiful editions of favorite books in one place. This visit resulted in an exciting purchase: the five volumes of "The Diary of Virginia Woolf." It will be fun to find the perfect bookshelf for these.
And then there was Cornwall...
It was easy to conjure up a Daphne du Maurier novel during our first walk into the little seaside village of St. Mawes on a breezy, sparkling morning. The seagulls were cawing as we walked along the cottage-lined road that leads into the village. The boat-filled harbour was in the distance and the water was just beginning to catch a few glints of sunshine. A dreamy, enchanting place. I bought a few novels set in this beautiful part of England which I am now reading. Can't wait to do a blog post on all the books I bought on this trip! And more on London, Cornwall, Devon, and the Cotswolds. To be continued...