Neil Rathmell – writer

100+ essays on literary topics

Author Archives: Neil Rathmell

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

Going the extra foot

The widely held belief that Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameters is based on a misunderstanding, the result of a misguided attempt on the part of literary scholars to apply the … Continue reading

January 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

It was the best of Dickens, it was the worst of Dickens

As no lady or gentleman, with any claims to polite breeding, can possibly sympathise with the Chuzzlewit Family without being first assured of the extreme antiquity of the race, it … Continue reading

January 4, 2018 · Leave a comment

One man and his music

I had forgotten, until I heard it on the radio yesterday, that 5 December 2017 was the tenth anniversary of the death of the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, which means that it … Continue reading

December 9, 2017 · Leave a comment

Was Shakespeare a socialist?

The question has been asked before. Like the question I asked in another essay, Was Shakespeare a Catholic? it is impossible to answer. All I could say about that was … Continue reading

July 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

Lear’s Fool

Feste, the Fool (or Clown) in Twelfth Night, turns up in Act I after an unexplained absence. ‘Nay,’ Maria says to him, ‘either tell me where thou hast been, or … Continue reading

December 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

The comedy of Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida is sometimes thought of as one of Shakespeare’s Problem Plays, but I think of it as a comedy. Not a romantic comedy, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream … Continue reading

November 1, 2016 · Leave a comment