Neil Rathmell – writer

100+ essays on literary topics

D.H.Lawrence and the urge to write

The urge to write is not unusual. When I was a teacher I saw it in many of the children I taught. But not all. Some had a greater urge … Continue reading

Featured · Leave a comment

Rupert Brooke, playwright

Rupert Brooke’s range is wider than he is usually given credit for, both in form and content. Lust, an early poem about sex, consensual or otherwise, begins with the usual … Continue reading

December 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

Why do people find Chekhov boring?

The short answer is that in Chekhov’s plays nothing happens. His subject is boredom. Nobody actually says, as Estragon says at the beginning of Waiting for Godot, “Nothing to be … Continue reading

November 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

The novel of the film

Water by Bapsi Sidhwa is the novel of the film by Deepa Mehta. ‘The film of the novel’ is a much more familiar phrase, the subject of many discussions about … Continue reading

November 6, 2020 · Leave a comment

Period drama

Period drama has been a staple of British television for as long as anyone can remember. Classic novels of the past, including nearly everything by Charles Dickens, have been dramatised … Continue reading

October 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

Shakespeare’s only one act play

A Yorkshire Tragedy is not one of Shakespeare’s better known plays. It was listed in the Stationers’ Register in 1608 as a play by William Shakespeare first performed by the … Continue reading

October 7, 2020 · Leave a comment

Shakespeare and the invention of theatre

There were no theatres when Shakespeare was a boy. The plays he watched would have been performed either in a church or on the street, unless he was fortunate enough … Continue reading

September 24, 2020 · Leave a comment

Two poets from Hull

Philip Larkin’s poems have an epigrammatic quality that is shared with Hull’s other poet, Andrew Marvell. The grave’s a fine and private placeBut none I think do there embrace could … Continue reading

September 12, 2020 · 1 Comment

D.H.Lawrence and the urge to write

The urge to write is not unusual. When I was a teacher I saw it in many of the children I taught. But not all. Some had a greater urge … Continue reading

August 27, 2020 · Leave a comment

Three kinds of novel, Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Woodlanders’

The difficulty in reading The Woodlanders is in knowing what kind of novel it is. Sometimes it reads like a psychological case study, sometimes like a fable or even a … Continue reading

August 15, 2020 · Leave a comment