‘Castles From The Air’ must be one of the most comprehensive guides to Britain’s castles. Not the usual aerial photography with a few notes, but an in-depth of analysis of castles at all stages periods of of construction from pre-Roman to ‘modern’ – with absolutely marvellous full-colour high-quality photos. Castles are one of the distinguishing features of our landscape and they tell a tale not just of History but also of Romance. Which child hasn’t been thrilled by stories which have a castle at their heart? Which adult too? I really enjoyed going through this from start to finish over a few nights, but it is a coffee table sort of book that you could dip into at any time. I loved it.
I sent for the Film Script edition of ‘Hobson’s Choice’. Author Harold Brighouse. With a name like that he couldn’t be anything other than one of the Manchester School of dramatists. This was first produced in this country in 1915, having opened in America. The subtitle says it all – ‘A Lancashire Comedy In 4 Acts’. Having just watched ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ on TV (which surprisingly I had never seen before) and found it as slight and disappointing as could be, I was wondering whether I would enjoy this. I am glad to say it was a sheer delight from start to finish. I enjoyed ‘the plot’ if you can call it that….it is more of a situation comedy, I enjoyed the strongly drawn characters, I enjoyed the rather suffocating location – a family shoe shop in Chapel Street Salford in 1880. To me it is rather like Coronation Street – better kept as an everyday story than show authorial indulgence with extremes. I really must find out if there are other Brighouse Plays I can read…..I would certainly like to. Highly recommended (even if you don’t come from Lancashire).