February 11th, 2009


February Books 10) Measure for Measure, by William Shakespeare


February Books 11) Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

I saw a deeply excoriating review of this novel on my f-list in the last week - apologies for not linking, but I am writing this in the Channel Tunnel. I wouldn't be quite so harsh; it was Austen's first novel, and she has not managed to quite get the trick of interesting plot or characters, but it's not actually bad in my view. But I must admit I sped through the second half hoping that there would be a punchline, and was disappointed.

Blood and Hope, and Assassin in the Limelight

Abraham Lincoln's first appearance in Doctor Who is a brief extract from the Gettysburg Address in a First Doctor story, The Chase, in which the Doctor and friends are trying out the Space-Time Visualiser which they liberated from the Space Museum in the story of the same title. (They also use the machine to watch the Beatles performing live, and William Shakespeare in a conversation with Elizabeth I.)

My dabbling in spinoff Who fiction has brought me to two other encounters between the Doctor and Lincoln, and I don't know of any others (though am ready to be enlightened).

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If you ever go to Washington DC, I strongly recommend the small museum in the former Ford's Theatre building where John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln on 14 April 1865. (The museum ticket also includes the house across the road where he died early the following morning.) The building itself has been reconstructed (after Ford's Theatre went bust, it became a government office which collapsed catastrophicallly, killing many budding bureaucrats), but both on my first visit as a seven-year-old and on my most recent visit at the age of 39 I found it a strangely compelling place.

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So, those of you who are interested in both Who and the US Civil War will find Blood and Hope entertaining and Assassin in the Limelight deeply annoying.