Maurice Hindle

Independent writer and scholar

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John Lennon

The two hour interview I devised and led with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on December 2 1968 is now available to hear at www.hardrock.com/lennontapes . A podcast on how it all came about and my reflections on it all are also there as Maurice Hindle Remembers. The discussions of that day with John Lennon had a lasting effect on my attitudes and the direction that my life subsequently took, but it is only in the past few years that I realised how profoundly the impact had been. Since the time Hard Rock at Orlando bought the original tapes for their Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia collection in 1987, I had been trying to find out what plans they had for them. I also started drawing on my notes to put a book on John Lennon together. Finally, when Hamish Dodds the CEO of Hard Rock contacted me in early 2011, there seemed a chance that the tapes might be part of some kind of 'release' project.

That moment finally came on 9 February 2014 at Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, the 50th anniversary of the first visit of The Beatles to the US and their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, when the interview tapes, remastered by Jeff Nolan, Hard Rock Music and Memorabilia historian, were officially launched from the Hard Rock website. That Sunday evening I was part of a Q&A discussion onstage at NYC Hard Rock Cafe (their Broadway site has the old Paramount Theatre in it) led by Jeff Nolan, with Andy Babiuk, author and Beatles historian. Images from that evening can be viewed on the Gallery pages. I am now hard at work again on my book, an undertaking deeply infused with the experience of and long-brewing reflections on that interview with John Lennon in 1968 and called Singing his Heart and Speaking his Mind: The Songworld of John Lennon. Watch this space! And my blog.

Shakespeare

A book that is somewhat nearer completion is the second edition of Studying Shakespeare on Film (2007), which explores and explains how movie makers have brought Shakespeare to the screen. It brings the world of Shakespeare on screen right up to date. For those interested in my Shakespeare work, do look at shalt.org.uk, which contains links to all six of the 'outputs' produced by Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT), a project I devised and put together with the help of Professor Andrew Gurr, University of Reading. We were lucky enough to get the big two-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2011-13, in partnership with the V&A Museum in London. It was hard work!...but a great success. I got a map painstakingly made of the more than 20 early modern theatres of London (1567-1642), made available as a free Apple or Android app, but the hard folded copy also bundled in free with the publication The Guide to Shakespearean London Theatres (1567-1642). That is available from Amazon. Many will I think find the 20 short films we made about Shakespearean London Theatres (available on YouTube and from the website) an impressive achievement. My favourite is the 10 minute illustrated documentary on John Lyly, a best-selling 1580s playwright whose influence on the 1590s comedies of William Shakespeare is very apparent. See 'YouTube for that, the points illustrated by our beautifully and humorously acted extract from Lyly's play Sapho and Phao, with David Oakes and Claire Price - 2,500 plays seems to confirm my view!

English Literature

Although in my scholarly Romanticism work I tend to be known for the editions of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula and William Godwin's Caleb Williams I produced for Penguin Classics, and for the book-length study of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein published as a Penguin Critical Study, I also have a special interest in the poetry and science of Romantic Scientist Humphry Davy. Two recently published essays on Davy are Nature, Power, and the Light of Suns: The Poetry of Humphry Davy and Humphry Davy and William Wordsworth: A Mutual Influence. I am proud of having reintroduced the world to the poetry of Humphry Davy, a man usually noted only for his contributions to chemistry and science in the early nineteenth century.

There is much more to tell about what I have done, what I am doing, and what I plan to do, an extended version of such telling being given in my longer Autobiographical Statement. Also keep an eye on my blog .

Long live the transformative power of the arts!

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