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10 best VividPast moments of 2017

Updated: Apr 15, 2018

1. ...being the Queen of Goddesses (what's not to love?) in front of Shakespeare's Globe. My day-as-a-goddess was at the invitation of theatre company The Lion's Part, for their much-loved 'October Plenty' festival on London's South Bank. Singing, dancing, talking animals, a procession to Borough Market, and lots of Shakespearean good cheer. Highly recommended!


...discovering that Queen Juno has a wonderful peacock-feather costume. Apparently this Juno also has powers to bless humans and guarantee fine weather. One could get to like this!


Ringlets WILL happen!!!

My lovely hairdresser at Anne Veck, just before my premiere in 'The Librarian's Wife' at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford.

As you can see, dignity and quiet contemplation are essential before a performance. I'm not enjoying myself at all.

Want to see how The Hair curled? Scroll on down into the year 1619...

4. Definitely the Best. Ringlets. Ever.


Heart-stopping moment.

Twilight in the medieval library. My first audience is waiting for me (you can just see them in the sunbeam at the western end).

I'm Ann James, the Librarian's Wife in 1619, and nobody has ever brought history to life like this, here in this library, before.

What a huge privilege to be here.


Post-performance, and good cheer reigns during my debrief with the Bodleian curators and heads of department. (I've come out of character here, back into the 21st century, hence my glasses - but we unconsciously keep speaking in Shakespearean English!)


VividPast is about 'hands-on' history. And look at the concentration! Three audience members are entranced by being able to touch the real documents from 400 years ago. Here is the handwriting of the Bodleian's first Librarian, Thomas James. This is the very first record of readers' names, too, from opening day in 1602.

8. Just the most fun ever - writing your own name with a real quill pen, while Jane Austen's governess makes you giggle... And everyone gets to take their own piece of work HOME!


One of VividPast's triumphs of 2017 was being awarded the prestigious Institute of Tour Guides Green Badge, and being welcomed into the Oxford Guild of Guides. An intensive Diploma course helped me learn 'The knowledge' about Oxford's nooks and crannies. Watch this site for the 2018 introduction of my Oxford walking tour "Shakespeare's Landlady"!


And finally...

... nothing is so sweet as a handwritten note!

This is from one of the hundreds of people who enjoyed the Bodleian Library's 'Day with Jane Austen'.

It was my pleasure.

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