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

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

The five acts and four intervals of Henry VIII

Shakespeare’s last play was not The Tempest, but Henry VIII, which was written some two years later. It is easy to read The Tempest as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage … Continue reading

July 31, 2020 · Leave a comment

Charles Dickens, dramatist

What makes a writer choose to write in one form rather than another? Is it a matter of choice, or do poets, playwright and novelists have poetry, plays and novels … Continue reading

July 18, 2020 · 2 Comments

Shakespeare and the modern novel

Shakespeare must have read anything and everything that came his way, not just the sources for his plays, which are well known, not just the classical authors who, if Ben … Continue reading

March 16, 2020 · Leave a comment

Telling tales

One day, when she was a little girl, my mother lost her temper with her older sister, Dinah, who had been telling lies about her. In her still barely articulate … Continue reading

December 14, 2019 · 1 Comment

Just a novelist

Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel about love between women is almost a curiosity today, little read and even less understood. Her sixth novel, following Adam’s Breed, for which she had won … Continue reading

August 5, 2019 · Leave a comment