Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday July 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM

Four hundredth anniversary of the Sea Venture's shipwreck at Bermuda

The Associated Press this morning —

“Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 28, 1609, the English ship Sea Venture, commanded by Admiral Sir George Somers, ran ashore on Bermuda after nearly foundering at sea during a storm.”

“… the Sea Venture story is two tales in one. There’s the hurricane at sea, and then there is the Bermuda wreck becoming an inspiration for ‘The Tempest.’ The first is one of the most dramatic adventures of the era, and the second is a fascinating detective story.”

Robert Sean Brazil, scholar

“It has been a commonplace in English literary criticism that Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Tempest,’ was modeled on these accounts…. However, this common wisdom is almost certainly a falsity. A monumental error.”
Related material:

Plot summary by “Anonymous” at imdb.com of a feminist film version of “The Tempest” (now in post-production):

“In Julie Taymor’s version of ‘The Tempest,’ the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft.”

Taymor’s “Tempest” stars, as Prospera, the famed portrayer of monarchs Helen Mirren. Another work dealing with alchemy suitable for Mirren (who is also known as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison):

The Eight, by Katherine Neville, is perhaps the greatest bad novel of the twentieth century. If it were made into a movie, who should be cast as the Black Queen? (“…the dignified silver-haired woman danced sinuously…” — p. 241)

'Prime Suspect'-- Helen Mirren as Inspector Tennison

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