The real Shakespeare and Dido Belle at Taunton Literary Festival

Here are some of the things you can see at Taunton Literary Festival 2014:

Thursday, 13 November brings you the real Shakespeare and a look at Dido Belle, the black girl in a famous Georgian portrait of two society ladies and now the subject of a film. Spend the evening at Brendon Books to find out more.

Who was the real Shakespeare and who wrote those plays?

6.00 Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? £5.00 Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton

ShakespeareBeyondDoubtCoverThe Book the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Doesn’t Want You to Read: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? Never,it claims, has the case against the Stratford man been
made so clear and compelling. Unsettled by the growing success of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition and its online Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon has published a book insisting that the identity of the author William
Shakespeare is “beyond doubt. What do you think? Come and hear the case against and pose your own questions.






The Painting Behind the Film ‘Belle’

8.00 pm Paula Byrne, Belle £6.50 at Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton Lady Elizabeth Murray and Dido Belle, once attributed to Zoffany

In one of the most famous portraits in the world, a pretty girl walks through the grounds of Kenwood House, a vision of aristocratic refinement. But the eye is drawn to the beautiful woman on her right.

Pointing at her own cheek, she playfully acknowledges her remarkable position in eighteenth-century society. For Dido Belle was the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy captain and a slave woman, adopted by the Earl of
Mansfield. As Lord Chief Justice of England he would
preside over the notorious Zong case – the drowning of
142 slaves by an unscrupulous shipping company. His
ruling provided the legal underpinning to the abolition of
slavery in Britain.


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