World Book Night 2012, Shakespeare’s birthday (and date of death) and St George’s Day: 23rd April

Today, we in the library are celebrating  (and remembering) all of these events!

World Book Night was established last year by Jamie Byng, the owner of Canongate Books, to spread the love of reading as far as possible in the United Kingdom and this year is set to spread even further around the globe, with bookgiving events in the United States, Ireland and Germany as well as the UK.  Please click here to find out more…

Following on from the success of last year’s book giveaway on Saturday 5th March 2011, when we distributed copies of Ben Macintyre‘s book Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: The Most Notorious Double Agent of World War II to coaches, parents and students participating in that day’s football fixtures against Haileybury School, this year we have decided to give copies of Audrey Niffenegger‘s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife.  Miss Guy explains why:

 “I feel many readers of fiction will overlook this as it will be thrown into the romance genre and perhaps be glossed over thus I wished to resurrect a highly original novel which is very much more than a romantic liaison. The story revolves around Clare and Henry, a perfect couple except for that Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time. His disappearances can happen at any given time. We see and hear the impact of this time travel from both perspectives and through this we feel the heartache, the separation, the anger, the frustrations and the fears thus creating an exceptionally intense and moving piece of literature. Go on give it a try!”

Copies of the book are being distributed in Castle Library today.

Every one of this year’s books, as seen above, has a sonnet by William Shakespeare printed on the inside cover at the back which has been selected especially due to its significance and relevance to the story in each novel.  This wonderful idea has been inspired by the date of this year’s World Book Night, 23rd April being the date of birth of one of the world’s most famous playwrights (and, coincidentally, the date of his death some 52 years later in 1616).  The sonnets were chosen by poet, writer and musician, Don Paterson and must have been a mammoth task!  You can read more about this here.  He has, I believe chosen well for our featured novel:

Sonnet 44

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,

Injurious distance should not stop my way:

For then despite of space I would be brought,

From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.

No matter then although my foot did stand

Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;

For nimble thought can jump both sea and land

As soon as think the place where he would be.

But ah! Thought kills me that I am not thought,

To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,

But that, so much of earth and water wrought,

I must attend time’s leisure with my moan,

   Receiving nought by elements so slow

   But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

Shakespeare famously refers to Saint George thus:

“Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!”  Henry V, Act III

Saint George was not English and, indeed, is celebrated as a patron saint in other countries such as Georgia, Lithuania, Portugal and Greece, although his personage is identified with the English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry.  Very little is actually known about him, so anything we do know is considered the stuff of legend.  He was believed to have been born in Cappadocia, now part of Turkey, in the 3rd Century AD.  Born of Christian parents, he became a Roman Soldier whilst retaining his Christian beliefs and protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians.  He was tortured and imprisoned but remained true to his faith and on 1222, 23rd April was established as his Saint’s Day.  (Source of information: BBC Religions website accessed 23 April 2012)


Author: Berkhamsted School Library

Main aims for Berkhamsted School Library • to provide a central resource for the whole school curriculum • to encourage an ethos of enquiry and discovery • to assist pupils in becoming confident and independent learners • to develop research and information skills throughout the school • to offer resources which enrich cultural values and experiences for pupils, as well as have a role in their recreational life and promote reading for pleasure as a lifelong activity

11 thoughts on “World Book Night 2012, Shakespeare’s birthday (and date of death) and St George’s Day: 23rd April”

  1. Je ne savais pas ça! Un très beau site vous partagez des informations utiles. Et j’aime le design aussi, où avez vous obtenu ce modèle? Est-il difficile à installer?

    1. Merci beaucoup pour votre réponse! J’utilise un thème de WordPress qui s’appelle Spectrum. Il faut cliquer sur ‘Appearance’ dans l’écran ‘Dashboard, puis vous devez cliquer sur ‘Themes’, et on peux y choisir beaucoup de thèmes gratuits. Quand vous en avez choisi, cliquez la-dessus et puis cliquez ‘Install’. C’est très simple! Bonne chance!

  2. That is very fascinating, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to looking for extra of your magnificent post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks

    1. Thank you for your interest in my blog posts. It’s always great to hear back from our readers, you can browse backwards to see what else is of interest and all our posts separated into various months and years… Happy reading!

  3. Hi there, I discovered your blog via Google even as looking for a comparable topic, your site got here up, it appears good. I have added to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

  4. Generally I don’t learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  5. Great goods from you, man. I have take into account your stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic. I really like what you have received right here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way by which you assert it. You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read far more from you. That is really a great website.

    1. Thank you so much, it’s so good to have comments like yours! Perhaps you’d like our previous articles by clicking on the option ‘previous posts’ and you can see all of our past articles in date order… Happy reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s