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Happy St Georges day

April 2016 – 21st-23rd (Brontë’s, Shakespeare and St George)

Now in other countries, they celebrate their Saint’s Day e.g. St Patrick in Ireland and St David in Wales but for us St George has never been overtly celebrated in England with us favouring days dedicated to famous playwrights instead and this leads me to Shakespeare. It is his 400 year anniversary today and it would seem TV channels, theatres and films are commemorating this by dedicating the day to him.

Shakespeare was a prolific English poet, playwright and actor and is widely regarded as the greatest writer in English language. Some of his best known works include Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello. He wrote approximately 38 plays and 154 sonnets, among other things and is studied worldwide by eager students and adults alike.

Speaking of writers.. This week marked the bicentennial anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth and celebrations are abound in Haworth at the Brontë Museum to mark the life and work of Charlotte Brontë, most famous for her love story, Jane Eyre.

Charlotte was the eldest of the surviving Brontë’s and acted as a carer to her younger siblings. She became a governess in 1839 and held this position for 2 years. Her life experiences are said to be the inspiration behind several scenes in her classic novel, Jane Eyre.

This leads me to back to my original story and the character of St George. Is he fact or fiction?

Apparently, St George is famous for slaying a dragon and saving a distressed maiden but actually very little is known about our patron saint which makes it more difficult to distinguish between what is fact and fiction. He is believed to have been born in Palestine in the 3rd Century AD to Christian parents and was a soldier of the Roman Army and it is his Christian faith that got him killed in the end by Emperor Diocletian in 303 AD.

St George represents English chivalry and bravery although he was not actually English. In fact, he never set foot onto British soil. He is also said to be the patron saint of several other countries including Portugal, Serbia and Malta. So there’s a history lesson for you…!

Perhaps it is not so much him that we celebrate but rather his ideals and the fact he never gave up on his faith, a good lesson for us all, stand up for what we believe in!

So today is the one day of the year where you are guaranteed to see people flying the English flag whether it be for St George, Shakespeare or Charlotte Brontë. Be proud to be English today and celebrate our heritage!

If you would like to see some Shakespeare in the next week, I would heartily recommend “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” running at the Lantern Theatre in Sheffield until 30th April 2016. TICKETS Priced between £7 and £10

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