MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Culture Corner: Noel Coward, Impressionists and The Royal Albert Dock

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

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Historical Fiction: Take Your Book Club Back in Time

With the ongoing global health crisis continuing to impact day-to-day life, drifting away to another place and time through an absorbing work of historical fiction sounds more appealing than ever. To that end, here we recommend six historical novels that have recently been released in paperback for your own reading pleasure, or to read with your book club.

Each book comes with a reading guide and all of them profile compelling female protagonists, some of whom are historical figures, others are ordinary folk reacting to significant historical events.


featured book jackets

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The Rake's Progress, A History of the World in 100 Objects and The Butterfly Lion

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week's suggestions have a distinctly British flavor:

  • Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Hogarth's paintings charting one man's path from pleasure to ruin are the starting point for one of the most dazzlingly original works of the 20th century, like a Mozart opera that has wandered into a musical hall of mirrors – at once elegant and anarchic. John Cox's production is one of the great Glyndebourne classics. This performance was captured during the 2010 Festival and features David Hockney's designs alongside a cast that includes Topi Lehtipuu, Matthew Rose and Miah Persson (available Aug 2-8, donation encouraged).
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects. In this BBC radio series, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, retells humanity's history through the objects it's made. Each 15 minute podcast focuses on a different item starting with an Egyptian mummy and ending with the solar-powered lamp. You can start from the beginning or dip in wherever you like. I've listened to many of the episodes at one time or another since the series first ran in 2010 and each is fascinating. On the accompanying website you can view each object, read additional background information and follow links to related articles.
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Carousel, Dangerous Women, Sleeping Beauty and Top of the Pops

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

  • Rodgers and Hamerstein's Carousel, performed at the Lincoln Center. This production was recorded in 2013 with music by the New York Philhamonic. The cast includes Stephanie Blythe, Shuler Hensley, Jason Danieley, Jessie Mueller, Kate Burton, John Cullum, Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck (available until Sept 8, donations encouraged).
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Culture Corner: Macbeth, Movies, Highgrove and the Decameron Project

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

  • A production of Macbeth at London's Globe Theatre, created especially for young people (recommended for ages 11+). It was recorded earlier this year and runs 90 minutes so, presumably, a few bits have been cut as a full length production would be about two hours--cutting parts from Shakespeare's plays is not unusual, for example, an uncut production of Hamlet would run at least four hours (Macbeth is available until July 25, donations encouraged).
  • A tour of the gardens of Highgrove, Prince Charles' private residence. The gardens are open to the public on a very limited basis, so even if you were to visit England, it's unlikely you'd be able to see them. If you don't know what a stumpery is now's your chance to find out!
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Culture Corner: Amadeus, Billy Budd and the Louvre

Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. Most are free (although some welcome donations); and some are only available for a limited time, so it's worth checking regularly. If you'd like to receive a weekly reminder, enter your email in the "Subscribe to Blog" field to the right.

This week we suggest:

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