Reading Time: 7 minutes At the beginning of the play, “Hands” is a word used to refer to Macbeth’s brutal – but legitimate – killing of the Thane of Cawdor who “‘ne’er shook hands” (1.1), symbolic of his lack of gentlemanly behaviour and loyalty in participating in rebellion – a theme of ‘hands’ throughout the play.
Reading Time: 5 minutes Sometimes my students probably think I’m either a sadistic, a bit loopy, or both. I LOVE this question from the … More Developing context in the pre-1900 question – Rossetti and A Doll’s House
Reading Time: 7 minutes If it is a book of anything, Jekyll and Hyde is a book of appearance versus reality, and one of … More Beauty and ugliness in Jekyll and Hyde
Reading Time: 2 minutes Introduction: What’s the writer’s message or purpose? End with a sentence linking the extract to the major theme of the … More An extract to whole text question – a quick guide
Reading Time: 3 minutes For a while now I’ve used the SCATI approach to dystopian wider reading, which I first read about here: https://jwpblog.com. Like most … More How to read a dystopian extract – what to look for
Reading Time: 4 minutes In this series, I look at just a few sentences to get under the nuts and bolts of writing.
This post, it’s Frances Hardinge’s Skinful of Shadows*, which I’ve just finished.
When a creature dies, its spirit can go looking for somewhere to hide. Some people have space inside them, perfect for hiding. Makepeace, a courageous girl with a mysterious past, defends herself nightly from the ghosts which try to possess her. Then a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard for a moment. And now there’s a ghost inside her. The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, but it may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. As the English Civil War erupts, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.