Thursday, 3 March 2011

How a play came to be written ... Samuel Pepys, Robert Hooke ...

Cast of characters:

Siobhán Nicholas – playwright, director, actress
Samuel Pepys, and his wife Elizabeth, - diarist
Robert Hooke - the genius polymath (aka the English Leonardo)
Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Christopher Wren – early scientists (natural philosophers)
Stephen Inwood – author, lecturer in English, social and economic history
Chris Barnes – actor, director, playwright, composer
A pilot, Shoreham Harbour, England


A birthday party in Brighton, England (2006)
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England (2006)
Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge – founded 1660

Samuel Pepys? … His Diary! … His World!! … His Women!!! - Theatre poster for 'Sam and I'

Time frames (approximate):

21st century 2000 - 2011
17th century 1635 – early 1700s


Sam and I ... Take the Space {Theatre Company} – their flagship production
Hanging Hooke ... Take the Space - a co-production with Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
Dolce Via ... their new co-production ... more in another post
(yes - similar name to La Dolce Vita and there are links – but very different)

... and the secret ghostly blog writer ... who plagiarises emails, snatches snippets from Wikipedia, and words from Amazon reviews to create her post ... !

Robert Hooke Memorial Portrait for the Open University,by Rita Greer

Setting the scene: Let us start in 2006, a birthday invitation is sent out, Siobhán and Chris attend the party in Brighton ... they were touring their play “Sam and I” about Pepys and his wife; as happens at parties this unsolicited excited chap dashes over ....

I now quote Siobhán:

“It was 2006 and I was at a birthday party here in Brighton. We were in the midst of touring Sam & I, my play about Elizabeth Pepys.

Anyway a complete stranger came up to me and seemed excited by the fact that I had been researching the C17th because he had just been reading about this interesting chap, who had lived at that time, and maybe had even known Samuel Pepys. Before I could stop him – he had run back to his flat in the rain and appeared 15 minutes later with this book under his arm – insisting that I read it!!

I groaned inwardly….I felt I had read enough books about the C17th to last me - well another century. But this man was determined and was so sweet that I couldn’t really refuse to take the book. So I was polite and thanked him.

Elisabeth Pepys in a stipple engraving by John Thomson, after a 1666 painting (now destroyed) by John Hayls

I got home and I decided to quickly glance through the book for a few minutes and then give it back the next day with polite thanks – so I settled down to skim read “The Man Who Knew Too Much” by Stephen Inwood ....

... literally – on the first page – the hairs proverbially stood up on the back of my neck!! I was “hooked” and I knew I had to know more and more and more……..most important I knew that I was going to write about this man and that my favourite actor in all the world, Chris Barnes, would have to play him. But it was going to be such a mammoth project – I’d reserve it for some time later in the long distant future.

A couple of months went by, we were performing Sam & I at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (see left) – when Brian, the artistic programmer, asked me what would be my next play …..and the words somehow tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them …..

.... ”a solo show about Robert Hooke, a genius who was written out of history”.

“ Okay” says Brian “ Write it and I’ll put money into it for a production” There was no escape now – I had to write it!!!

Postscript: The complete stranger at the party is now a good friend of Chris and I. He turned out to be the pilot at Shoreham Harbour - an interesting man – but he didn’t get his book back for three years!!

I have now also met Stephen Inwood who has seen the play and [thankfully] loved it. He then very kindly did a lovely preview for us in the Oxford Times when we played Oxford again last Summer”.

PS The Hooke Folio was only found in 2006 when it was put up for auction; The Royal Society managed to acquire it to verify his importance to their organisation and fill various holes in their records.

So today Mr Hooke, on the anniversary of your death in 1703, we celebrate you .. and are sorry you never got to be knighted like the rest of your pals ... but I hope you’re resting on your rainbow cloud, and are just drifting around soaking up the recognition that finally is now being accorded you ...

Siobhán .. I really want to thank you for your input and interest in my blog, and my own interest in having found your play and thus the English Leonardo.

Oxford University - Department of Engineering: Dr Allan Chapman made a fantastic speech which captured the art of storytelling and a beautiful painting by Rita Greer, both of which brought Robert Hooke's character and identity to life.

I am certain my readers will be enthralled by the telling of this tale, and will look forward to another story on why and how you go about the process of writing these plays.

Also, in due course, it will be wonderful to hear more about “Sam and I” and your new play “Dolce Via” – charting the music halls and giving credit to the great artists of variety, who came to the fore in the last century.

We really appreciate you – and are very grateful for sharing your time with us. Have a successful performance tonight at the staging of Hanging Hooke at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in honour of Robert Hooke's life. 'Break a Leg' is, I believe, the phrase I should use!
Take The Space {Theatre Company}

We will never truly know what happened ... but at least Robert Hooke, you have been restored to the living archives at The Royal Society, and are now ‘our English Leonardo’.

Blog posts: the historical background of the 17th century - England's Leonardo
Hanging Hooke – the play

Stephen Inwood’s book: 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' – Amazon
Wikipedia – Robert Hooke; and new memorials recently erected to Robert Hooke

Wikipedia Media Commons – category – Paintings by Rita Greer – her Robert Hooke Project

Note: The Hooke Folio .... Lot 189: The Royal Society cancelled Bonham’s auction of a 17th-century manuscript that charts the beginning of modern science. Britain's premier scientific academy believes the 520-page document, by the scientist Robert Hooke, may have been stolen from its archives 300 years ago.

Take the Space {Theatre Company} - website

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre - website

Susanne Drazic from Putting Words Down on Paper – her blog .. honoured me with the Stylish Blogger Award for which I am very grateful – Susanne many thanks!

Dear Mr Postman .. my mother stays much the same; we had a quick planned visit to the hospital and she stayed awake and was cheerful during the whole episode – 7 hours .. up and down, waiting for the ambulance etc. She was pleased to be back and with Hardwick, her special companion. So for now .. from a chilly England .... we await Spring ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


T. Powell Coltrin said...

First of all congratulations on your new award! You deserve it.

I love to watch plays. What fun it must have been in "olden" times to go to a play. Today we have so many choices for entertainment that we often don't consider going to a play. I love this form of entertainment.

Glad to hear your mother is back from the hospital. Hardwick is a very dependable friend.


This was most interesting and wonderful to read, I have heard of the play but not all the details you mentioned,


Betsy Wuebker said...

Hi Hilary - "The Man Who Knew Too Much" has been on one of my reading "backlists" for quite some time. Wonderful of you to mention it and remind me! Thank you!

vered said...

7 hours in the hospital! Wow.

We await spring too, although admittedly California is far less chilly than England.

Southpaw said...

Interesting stuff. Congrats on your award.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. There's a lot of really interesting info here, Hilary - thanks!! And congrats on your award. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. many thanks - I appreciate your thumbs up.

I just loved hearing about the play via my school magazine because of the name Hooke has been dubbed "the English Leonardo" .. and it's sort of gone from there.

Siobhan .. is being so kind in emailing me info etc .. and it's great to be able to learn as I pass on such first-hand details on how the play about.

It was a real day out - that's why I think Take The Space's production "Dolce Via" .. will be a brilliant one to post about ..

I must say Take the Space's team certainly think out of the box - it's fascinating.

Yes - it was a planned visit and a pleasant one .. and wonderful to be back with Hardwick!! Lovely seeing you here .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. they've done quite a lot of touring .. but I'm so pleased you've heard of the three plays now. If you get a chance do go and see them .. well worth it.

Did you get a chance to read my two previous posts in November 2010 on the play and the period? They'll give you more flavour and tempt you to take in a visit!

Thanks so much for the comment - lovely having you back in England .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betsy .. you are amazing - that book has been on your nightstand* - well it sounds a very good read .. so enjoy.

*And you packed it and took it with you in your downsizing?! Or is it on a list no more .. ordered and on the way to being read?

Excellent - please come back and tell us more about it .. your version ..

Cheers - have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. planned visit and went as smoothly as pancakes! I even told the ambulance drivers the way back - as they were out of towners .. and they followed the instructions & arrived safely. It's not the simplest to find, especially as it had changed it's name that day?! Said .. the lady was right!

Waiting for the ambulance, then the procedure & time to recover, then the ambulance back .. wasn't bad - no hassle .. was the important thing.

Vered .. it is freezing here - thick frost on the car overnight .. and London was very cold today .. not pleasant - Spring please come!

California is definitely warmer .. on the other hand we probably don't get so hot! Cheers from a cold-night Hilary!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. thank you - glad you enjoyed it .. and re the award that Susanne gave me - is wonderful!

I was in London today with the lady who had your Tea Book, which she loves using!!

Good to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. all courtesy of Siobhan .. because if she hadn't written the play and my school magazine hadn't commented on their visit into Oxford to see it .. I'd have never have known.

It's opening so many doors - where there's loads of interesting information waiting to be found out! I love it!

Many thanks re Susanne's award .. it's great of her to think of me .. have a good weekend - Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

So glad to hear, Dear Hilary, Hardwick and mum are happy again.

Some get knighted, some do not. i never will, but then again I'm not an English playwright. But maybe one day...

So..... how many books on the C 17th HAVE you read, Hilary. a lot, I suppose! you are just a research devourer, what a neat thing to be. Probably what keeps your mind so sharp.


BB sends love, he's down at the sandy spot at the lake on this lovely lovely sunny spring day.

oxox from him.

LTM said...

congrats to you!!! And I love plays. Back when I was a student at LSU, I worked at the theater box office, so I got to see every performance, and I miss it so much... Good stuff! :o) <3

... Paige said...

I think I should love to go to Brighton

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. thank you so much .. Hardwick is a good carer .. he's very quiet and sleeps loads too.

Together we are two who will not be made Dames! nor write plays .. well you might put some to music .. but we'd be a good audience?!

Ah - not a lot .. I just absorb like a sponge .. and as you say check out lots of things. I should read more .. but my mind enjoys the putting together the posts.

How lovely .. sandy spot by the lake and sunny .. loves to you both too .. BB is a good chap to have along .. it's sunny, but very cold here .. it's March after all!! Cheers happy weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh .. thank you! Working in the theatre box office must have been an interesting introduction to seeing behind the scenes and understanding the workings of the component parts.

The Hooke performance I saw was so well done... minimal props, brilliant lighting with stimulating acting and voice work. Again another eye opener into an arena I know nothing about.

Lovely seeing you here .. have a fun weekend .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paige - good to see you .. Brighton has lots to offer and it's not far away. A wonderful area called "The Lanes" going back to when the town started to grow 200 - 300 years ago ..

Sussex has excellent light and is beloved by artists .. come and visit sometime?!

See you soon?! Cheers Hilary

Paula RC said...

What an amazing story! It's so interesting find out how things come about. Glad to hear your mum is doing okay, I'm off to see my mum soon. We, my much beloved and I like to take her around all the charity shops as she likes to chat to the ladies in them. The women who work in these shops always have time to chat if mum isn't with us they always ask after her.

best wishes to you and your mum.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jamara .. good to see you - it is fascinating to find out so much via blogging!

Good - enjoy your day out with your mother .. I'm sure she'll love her visits - and the people in charity shops are always so kind and thoughtful.

Mum - uses her mind to travel and keep stimulated & she does too after 4 years of being stuck in bed. I'm amazed at the brain ..

Enjoy the day and the weekend .. Hilary

~Sia McKye~ said...

The English Leonardo, huh? I'll have to some research on him. So many brilliant people through the years totally overlook.

While I don't get out to see many, I do adore plays. The live audience, the skill of the actors to transport you to a time and place and done with a bare minimum background pieces to set the scene.

I was hoping to get to New York this year for RWA National conference so I could take in a few Broadway shows. Alas, not on my budget this year.

Congratulations on your award, they're nice to receive.

Have a good weekends!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

What wonderful news, Hilary. Congratulations on your award. I think plays are at the core of our profession. Your passion shines through. Have a wonderful weekend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. great to see you & hope you can get back to see my two previous posts on Hooke (November 2010) .. one on the play and the other on the historical part.

He was wiped out by ?Newton! So a very interesting man .. and there are links in the post.

Siobhan and their company really do put on an excellent performance .. I just must get across to see the other two ..

One day New York will come calling .. and you'll get to those shows - budgetary constraints are a nuisance!

Thank you re the award .. they're always lovely to receive .. and I will have a good weekend - you too .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. many thanks - I feel honoured at Susanne's generosity in thinking about me.

I've never understood that story telling is so intrinsic to everything in life - I'm learning!

I certainly enjoy what I do .. great that it shines through .. you too have a wonderful weekend - and I see the lake is still frozen. It's quite cold here now! But not your cold .. ! Cheers Hilary

Sara said...


This was a very fun post to read. I especially liked this line, "and the secret ghostly blog writer ... who plagiarizes emails, snatches snippets from Wikipedia, and words from Amazon reviews to create her post ..." All I can say is that SHE IS SO GOOD AT IT:~)

I also loved the poster and the writing on it:~)

It seems very good that Siobhan was "hooked" somehow that is so appropriate:~)

I am so pleased thatRobert Hookeis restored to history as the "English Leonardo."

Congratulations on that beautiful is well deserved for a engaging site and author:~)

Have a wonderful weekend and I am pleased that your mom is back home. Seven hours is a long time!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Gosh Sara .. that is a wonderful comment - THANK YOU!!

That's why the poster went up - as it really is a strong pull to see the play .. it is just so clever; and as you rightly say those words .. including the words from the website: "Samuel Pepys? .. His Diary! .. His World!! ... His Women!!!" - I hadn't realised the exponential use of the exclamation marks!

I just used her email to me .. and she's done a brilliant job with the play & it's getting full recognition now. The theatre company has worked hard .. but they're so innovative.

Hooke certainly is now restored in history .. unless other Folio's pop out of the dusty cupboard - to enlighten us further.

Appreciate the thoughts re the award - and again - your generous comments ..

Yes 7 hours is a long time .. but it was the best visit I've had to hospital - since I started this 'lark' 4 years ago .. and Mum was happy and content with the world!! The main thing ..

Enjoy the weekend .. and gosh I can't say again .. mucho gracias .. or words to that effect - cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

I always live reading your blog, Hilary - I never know what topic you're going to cover, and I always learn so much. Thank you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Talli .. I'm afraid I have never fitted the stereotype .. but am delighted to hear that you enjoy visiting and learn something .. the object of the exercise is to amuse, entertain ..

Enjoy the weekend & glad you're feeling better - cheers Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I appreciate your comments at my blog. It's always nice to "see" you.

What a fascinating story! I love hearing how writers get their ideas. Sometimes they come from the most unexpected places.

Congrats on the award.

Happy weekend,
Susan :)

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Hilary, you teach me so much and expose me to items I didn't realize I was missing. Thanks so much.

How fitting that you win that award. Well done and keep surprising us with your eclectic taste.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. glad I came over - interesting topic.

Isn't it an interesting turn of events - an actress, director and writer being presented with this book which is so important in the mix. I love hearing from Siobhan how she became so 'hooked' and then wrote the play.

Thank you - you too have a happy time .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. thank you - I love your stories so much .. they teach me.

Delighted you enjoy the posts .. that's the important part to me - entertaining others!

The award is an extra bonus - Susanne was so kind to give it to me .. lovely seeing you Amy - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Davina Haisell said...


I enjoy reading about well-known people who have been clearly inspired by other people; just as you are so inspired about Hooke.

It just makes the "famous" seem more real and more human, you know?

Congrats on your blogging award.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Davina .. you're right it's others' inspiration that leads us forward to explore that knowledge.

The name 'the English Leonardo' hooked me in .. finding the play, Siobhan coming across to comment and then her extra knowledge as the playwright .. just adds to the untangling of the mystery and his final acceptance as one of great scientists.

Then Siobhan's openness in 'giving more' - taking her time to stay in touch.

And of course - two more interesting new plays .. to see and write posts on ... as well as Siobhan's article on how she came to be a playwright.

Fascinating .. I love it!! The famous are just like us - I do know .. Siobhan and Chris definitely fall into the 'normal' role - they seem so caring and kind - as well as being brilliant exponents of their art.

Thanks re the award .. it's always great to have them! Cheers - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I like the part where the author speaks his work into being. I know that speech is an important part of my thinking process and just by talking, I end up with some great ideas and direction for writing and other life plans.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

H Chase .. yes Siobhan had obviously been thinking a great deal about the book, and therefore Hooke himself - so that as you so rightly say .. she was talking her work into 'life' ...

It's interesting how we all have different processes .. I do a lot of thinking and working through ..

Delighted you enjoyed it .. and I know you'll make use of it in your work - have a good Sunday .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

The blogger who plagiarizes made me smile. I call it creative borrowing!

Do hope your mother's okay.

Congrats on the award. This is SO you!!

And thanks for commenting on TGIF/green frog post. Silly little post that popped into my mind. YOUR posts have more substance. They're wonderful!!!

Have a peaceful Sabbath!

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting to read the process of how a play was born. I rarely see plays, which is probably a bad thing.

Hope you're having a good Sunday, Hilary.

Anonymous said...

More on Mr. Hooke. I remember you had written quite a bit on him in previous posts. There was a movie called The Man Who Knew too Little with Bill Murray. Maybe this was a spoof from the play. What can I say, I love spooks, especially taken from classics.

Kathryn Magendie said...

How brilliant you are - I can just see the inner-workings of your brain - all lit up with activity - the synapses firing off boom boom boom!

Short Poems said...

Hi Hilary
This was interesting post to read,I like reading about well-known people!
Congrats on your blogging award :)


TALON said...

Congrats on the award, Hilary. Very well deserved! You have a beautiful way of making history come alive.

Glad your mother was okay through the hospital visit and is now back home and comfortable.

After a rainy day yesterday, we awoke to a winter wonderland...Spring is being stubborn this year! (and I know she's somewhere nearby giggling!)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi everyone thankyou so much for coming over to comment.

I am down in Penzance for a funeral and left my dongle behind so am off line til I get back - dozy me! Cheers Hilary ( late Tuesday)

Sibyl - alternaview said...

Hilary: Really interesting post and story. I had never heard about the play, but hearing the story behind it really was fascinating. I should definitely check it out. Great post.

Helen Ginger said...

Congrats on the award. I admire play writers. Probably because I doubt I could be that concise in my own writing!

Janet Johnson said...

Congratulations on the award! I had never heard of Siobhan . . . but hilarious story about the book. Funny how a book can do that. :)

Ella said...

Amazing all the connections that lead to this~ I would say, fate stepped in~

Happy your Mom is safe n' sound~
How chilly is it?!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hmm, I do wonder why that painting of Elisabeth Pepys was destroyed?

Thank you for sharing your ventures with us and congrats on your award! It's so well deserved. <3

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Karen Lange said...

Congrats on the award! You are a stylish blogger in my book, and perhaps a walking encyclopedia as well!

Hope your Mom is doing okay.

Have a good week,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. many thanks .. when I wrote it I smiled too .. and you're right it is more creative borrowing - the idea mixed and matched.

Many thanks re the award and for the comment I am just so not stylish in my life!!

Pleasure re Jen's TGIF/green frog comment .. they made me smile .. and we need those so often - you do a WONDERFUL job with Jen.

My mother was fine when I got back yesterday - many thanks for asking - you have a good week .. all the best Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. thank you - I've enjoyed finding out it all came together - in fact there'll be a comment addition at the end.

Do get to see a play or two if you can .. and get behind the scenes - wish I'd had that opportunity!

Thanks - long drive on Sunday .. but at least the days are longer .. enjoy the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. you're right - but it was about Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much ..

Whereas this is a new play written by Siobhan after she came across the Hooke information, having written her Pepys play about Samuel Pepys' wife Elizabeth .. so the historical research was there already: same time frame.

Thanks .. for reminding me about Hitchcock's play, I never saw Bill Murray's spoof ..

And you're right I have written about Hooke before - but it's wonderful being in touch with the playwright and finding out her process .. as the story unfolded in her mind, and through coincidences of life.

Thanks for coming by .. all the best Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kat .. thank you!! That is exactly right .. my mind is so active and constantly threading ideas together ..

For me - brilliant comment .. couldn't have been said better ..

Enjoy the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marinela .. many thanks and delighted to hear you enjoyed it.

The award was a lovely surprise .. have a fun week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. thanks so much - it's wonderful to know others enjoy my approach to history.

Yes - Mum is fine up at the Nursing Centre .. so it wasn't traumatic thankfully.

Ah - your raindrops turned to that white stuff .. it's here in Scotland and the north of England again too. Spring is letting us know she's around .. some of the daffodils were out and early blossoms .. love your phrase .. giggling nearby .. the anticipation is worth it!

Cheers - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. delighted you enjoyed the post and story. Siobhan has written a new play - which is only gaining ground in recognition terms here in England.

So my two previous posts give the historical background, then the other one gives my version of seeing the play performed by the "Take The Space" theatre company - that Siobhan acts, directs and writes for ..

I am sure it will get much more recognition and will get to the States fairly soon ..

Just so pleased you enjoyed the post .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. thank you. I am learning so much about writing .. so your comment here adds to that knowledge - about being concise as a playwright.

Good to see you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet .. thank you re the award.

Well nor had I - but Hooke drew me in! Siobhan's play has only been performed locally here in England .. I'm sure it'll spread its wings.

Isn't it funny how things just seem to come together when we're not expecting it .. she must have been so non-plussed to be handed the book in the first place .. now she's laughing.

Great seeing you here - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ella .. thank you - you're right .. fate stepped in .. and there's more!

Thank you - my Mama is safe and sound.

Today - it is gloomy again and chilly, but the last couple of days we had beautiful weather as I travelled to Cornwall and back .. and clear clear nights. They've got snow and Arctic weather in Scotland ...

Cold - me thinks .. but as Talon said Spring is giggling behind the bushes at the moment as we all wait in eager anticipation for Spring! Cheers - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Elizabeth .. you've told me something .. I didn't know Elisabeth Pepys' portrait was destroyed .. I'm sure Siobhan has woven that fact into her play "Sam and I" .. maybe it's the main story - I have yet to see the play.

So pleased you enjoy the stories and thanks so much for your comment re the award.

Have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. thank you - stylish moi? Brilliant news!! Walking encyclopedia = I wish! But much appreciate the thought.

My Mama is peaceful .. and you too have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Everyone .. Siobhan came on the blog and emailed me the following comment ..

"Hi Hilary
I have just gone onto your blog …really lovely and witty too. Thank you so much for your support and good wishes for last week.

We had a great time in Guildford – sold out for Hanging Hooke on his anniversary which was great. Dolce Via went really well too – lovely audiences."

There is some more information - but perhaps I'll include that with the brief write-up Siobhan will do on the actual process of writing the play itself ..or her general approach.

Fate does starting introducing us to further aspects .. and adding to our knowledge base when we have a new interest ... certainly that happened to Siobhan and I find it happens to me .. and especially now.

Cheers and thanks so much for your comments .. sorry about my late replies - I had to go down for an unexpected funeral. Hilary

Unknown said...

That's a lot of detail about plays. I don't watch enough plays sadly. But, I think I should read more.
Congrats on the award.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Clarissa .. thanks for coming by .. yes - but it's so interesting coming across a writer who is giving us new plays - & this chap as the English Leonardo .. is so interesting to learn about.

Reading a play would be a good novel experience to have .. I must try one some day soon.

Thanks re the award - have a good week .. Hilary

N. R. Williams said...

What an amazing story. How sad that this man went unnoticed all his life. So many artist did. Now we have our blogs and can at the least find each other for support.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium, Special .99 through April 30

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy .. well he was noticed that was the problem .. he was written/taken out of history .. perhaps by Sir Isaac Newton one of his peers .. if you read my other two posts .. it's a very interesting story.

As you so rightly say we can find common and respected interests amongst true friends .. plus that support as we move forward.

Good to see you here - thanks for coming by .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hi. Congrats on the award!

Love these photographs and all the great information. How I would love to see plays, plays, plays!

I think I'm going to like Twitter. I just printed out some information about tweets and retweets. I'm confident it will be just take some practice!!

Have a great day. Blessings on you and your mother.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. many thanks.

I know - now I appreciate more I too would come with you .. one day I hope.

Good for you - Twitter seems to just need the knack then you're/we're away .. well done on giving it another go.

You too - many thanks for thoughts re my mother .. cheers to you and Jen .. Hilary

Joyce at I Take Off The Mask said...

Hi Hilary! How's life been going on? I haven't been able to visit lately as I've been very busy, and yes stressed too, in moving here to Australia, very different country indeed! Congratulations on your award, you very well deserve it! Stylish is not only the word, but UNIQUE as well. That's what I noticed about your blog and your style of writing. Carry on and be blessed! ;)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations on the award! :) I hope your mother is much-improved and comfortable. I've always loved watching plays performed---thanks for a little info on what goes on behind the scenes. :)

Julie Musil said...

I love stopping by your blog. I always learn something new! And I agree with the others: congratulations on the well-deserved award.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joyce .. All ticking on here. I wondered if you'd actually taken the plunge and moved on. Good for you - time will make life easier .. enjoy the transition and all the new ways of life. Looking forward to hearing how and what happens ..?

Gosh - you're kind .. I'm always so chuffed to hear lovely words .. and it's wonderful to know you enjoy it.

Thank you so much .. have a lovely day and weekend ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

H Elizabeth .. many thanks - really appreciate the award .. and my mother is peaceful and comfortable.

Everything to me is a whole new process .. writing, authoring stories, novels etc and now plays - so having access to Siobhan has been a real treat. I look at everything differently.

I can imagine you've enjoyed seeing plays and incorporating ideas into your writing .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. good to see you - and thank you for the comments re the blog and the award. Enjoy today .. Hilary

The Words Crafter said...

I wanted to stop by and say thanks for dropping by my blog today, it's nice to meet you :)

I read in your profile that you're caring for your mom in her last months....I'm so sorry. I've been there....and I'm glad you're there for her.

I look forward to getting to 'know' you better.

Have a great Friday!

Patricia said...

extremely late to the party, but am so glad I got here to read this wonderful post and about the inspiration behind the story.
Congratulations on your blog award - Hip Hip Hurrah

I know those 7 hour days at the hospital myself...and then the all night sit by the bed for days on end - begging a family member to relieve me so i could go home and shower. Of course, while gone the Dr. came and said relative could not remember what he said.

Spring Spring oh please come my way

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Becky .. thanks for coming over .. and it was a pleasure dropping in on your blog & Roland's interview.

Thank you re my Mama .. yes - so I am glad I'm around for her - essential company in these months.

Great - that will be lovely seeing you here and there .. you too have a good weekend too .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. thanks - glad you enjoyed the read .. and also for the comment re the award .. as you say - hip hip hurrah!

This particular trip was a piece of cake .. no emergency, pre-planned and ok it took 7 hours, but no hiccups and Mum was pleased to be back in her own bed, as such.

I know - they've got snow in Scotland .. clear night skies here, today the sun shines through .. later on - who knows! Cheers & have a good weekend .. Hilary

walk2write said...

Thank goodness the manuscript was restored to its proper place. Wouldn't you love to be a scholar studying it?

I'm going to look for that book. It sounds like a terrific read.

Your mom must be a joy to you for being so patient like that. I'm glad things went smoothly for you.

Sending Spring thoughts your way!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi W2W .. thanks for coming by .. I know .. isn't it amazing it was found and then be able to be purchased to put back into the Royal Society from where it came from originally 300 years ago.

Um .. I'm not that scholarly I think .. but the researchers must be loving looking through it all & uncovering links here and there to remedy the iniquities of centuries ago.

Enjoy the book .. I think I must get a copy too ..

My mother thank goodness has been the best possible during this time .. but I've been lucky as she can talk and communicate and that certainly makes life easy.

Thank you - had a glorious day today .. but cold now! Enjoy your Florida warmth!! Cheers Hilary

Katherines Corner said...

Congratulations. Wow what a wonderful post. I enjoyed reading it and my visit to your lovely blog too. Hugs!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Katherine .. many thanks - so pleased you enjoyed it and wonderful to see you here. It's a pleasure coming over to your Corner ..

Have a lovely weekend .. and hugs back .. Hilary

Will Burke said...

I just love hearing about lost/obscure history, and the Royal Society was SO influential! I'm glad that their story is getting fleshed-out some more.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Will .. how lovely seeing you here .. and delighted that you've enjoyed this post .. the Royal Society seems to have most of its jigsaw in place now .. having lost the central piece for over 300 years!

it is an extraordinary tale .. but such fun to learn about. Have a great weekend with the little one .. cheers Hilary

Sibyl - alternaview said...

Hillary: Great post. I can see why you wouldn't expect to have found such an interesting book about the C17. I had no idea myself, but there really is nothing better than starting a book and having the hairs on your neck stand up. Sounds like a fascinating read and thank for sharing your research. I always love coming here for my history lesson.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. many thanks .. I haven't yet read it .. but obviously one or two others have found it .. Siobhan the playwright was lent it .. amazing how the connections of this world tie ..

Siobhan's hairs on her neck .. she certainly felt the power of the book and the knowledge it contained .. but its Hooke's folio that really solidifies all the knots ..

Delighted you enjoyed the post - always good to see you - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hilary, thanks for sharing a most interesting bio about Robert Hooke. I had never heard of him but thanks to you I have now :-)

Take care and have a great week :-)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ron .. hallo, hallo .. Old Geezer .. love your name! That's a pleasure - he definitely deserves recognition after so long!

You too .. have a good rest of the weekend and next week .. cheers Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

I like the behind the scenes look.

It's funny how so many things really are just serendipity ... but then again, I think it's like luck ... which is when skill and opportunity come together.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. thanks - finding out how things come together is always interesting.

Serendipity .. word of mouth, thoughts attracting - we do bring things to us sometimes .. I know I do with the blog posts I am thinking of writing .... that subject keeps popping its head up.

Certainly, here, it was Siobhan's interest that led the way and produced this wonderful play - kudos to her and to the cast as a whole. She took that leap when the opportunity arose and had the skill to create ..

Thanks JD - a great way of piecing the puzzle together - enjoy Sunday when it comes round to you .. Hilary


Hi Hilary, thanks for the visit and comment, very much appreciated.
I am on my last eight letters of the alphabet to complete the blogfest. I wanted them all done and dusted before April begins.

Hope you are well.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

oh wow... what an interesting post. I was so delighted with all the details, and the tribute to Mr. Hooke.

Hilary, I am just now catching up with your posts, and I find your blog so enjoyable.

And thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind comments.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. many thanks delighted to pop over - would love to be able to write poems! On the last 8 letters .. Arlee has me thinking of a new plan?! Such is life .. me too I definitely want them done and dusted .. better move my butt!!

I'm fine thank you .. and looking forward to this tempting Spring! Cheers .. and have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Doris .. thank you! You tell such wonderful stories on real life in your blog .. a really good learning curve: I enjoy reading them.

Just delighted that you found the post interesting .. and by the sound of it opening your eyes to brief pastures new.

That's a pleasure - I'll be over regularly .. look after yourself and have a good week .. Hilary

Blue Bunny said...

hi, deeriest my hilree, whoo is reely nice, and fun and and a smart ladie livving in inglind.

hay -- it me, BB agin. i been missing you so mutch, my jannie maeking me do so mutch work wit she website.

i so happee to be bak heer on your blogg.

i like your informashins and sutch.

if yoo goes bak to my jannie noo poste, and reed wot she writed bak to yoo -- yoo mite feel all happee and speshill about yorself. and yoo IS speshill to me and my jannie. and my jannie going to the mailbox toosday wit a leter for yoo in inglind.


with loves.



or you can call me by my offishil bloging manijir name -- Blue Bunny


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deeriest BB .. I'm heres .. gosh you must be up to sumving .. wiv all those kindly words ..

I cans zee itz thee agin .. I miss U too - anuver trip down the tube to zees us .. Hardwick will be pleezed ..

Is Missus Jannie makings U wirk zo hard wiv de webbiesite .. I must cum over fur some lezzuns

Zo I havs bin over to reeds and I am velly velly surprized .. wot's she up too .. plz tell me secretly - I won't tell - I promis .. and U R posting a proper letter to me here in Ingland .. ooh goodie special post ..luverlies ..

with lots of luvs - ok Bloging Manijr .. Mr Blue Bunny, Esquire .. from us over here .. Hilree, Hardwick and my Mama .. xoxoxo

Blue Bunny said...

deerist my hilree, sorree, i sworn to sekrisy wit this, but yoo wil kno soon enuff.

just somthing sillee, now that my jannie iz so in love with she noo kamra.

loves to yoo too!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Oooh BB .. I taut a littl sekret btw frinds cud be shared .. but ure rite .. I must wate for ..

Ur Jannie never duz sillie fings .. but she sur does luvs kamra .. end summrs comming ...

I wates with bated breff .. hugs galores .. Hilree xoxox

Rosaria Williams said...

What a great story! I love these chance encounters and these mysteries unraveled.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. it is fun isn't it - and Siobhan absolutely made the most out of it. Hooke got mentioned as part of the Royal Society on the tv last night .. I bet a few years ago .. he wasn't known about.

Lovely seeing you here .. Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

Fascinating post as always, Hilary!

Hope the Spring arrives soon for you and your mother. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. many thanks and glad you enjoyed it .. Spring is springing down here .. but better than rushing and then not having much of a Spring, I guess! We're fine - all the best to you in sunny Cyprus! Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Amazing historical research you offer your readers. Great to see you in your element. Follow your heart. It always knows what feels right and you inspire readers in the process.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

H Liara .. many thanks - you're always so perceptive and thoughtful in your commenting .. follow my heart .. I will be doing so as the future progresses.

It's wonderful being able to offer inspirational aspects for readers who come by the blog ..

Have a happy weekend .. cheers Hilary

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

What a wonderful post Hilary! I do adore Brighton Beach...and the pier. It brings back lots of good memories for me.

I'm glad your Mum and her companion are feeling quite cheerful. It has to be a relief to you.

Have a goof rest of the week.

Misha Gerrick said...

Wow, great story. I'm definitely going to go check out the links you gave. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. aaahh .. childhood memories - beaches we loved when we were growing up.

Hahaha .. Hardwick is Mum's stuffed dog - she inherited him from one of her patients .. he must be 80 or 90 at least himself!! He's brilliant - so lifelike .. people have often said they didn't think dogs were allowed in Hospital, or Nursing Centres!

That got me laughing .. on a gloomy misty Thursday .. you too have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Misha .. thanks - the story behind the story is so interesting .. I wrote a post about the play and see that I didn't give the link ... here it is

It's an amazing story .. and the previous post about the Okavango .. TED links .. will be of great interest ...

Have a lovely rest of the week and weekend & enjoy the links .. Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

Hi Hilary, back again to tell you I gave you the Stylish Blogger Award today.

Helen Ginger said...

I just now saw you already have it. That makes you doubly stylish!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. no worries - delighted to see you again and often!

Many thanks for the Stylish Blogger award .. really appreciated - it's always lovely being recognised .. especially if I'm doubly stylish!!

Cheers and cheers .. lovely to come back to and see the award - makes my day end well! Hilary