This Happy Breed by Noel Coward directed by David Lean taken from William Shakespeare

Just taking some time out from the hustle and bustle of social media and letting my mind wander to other things and now gently musing on the words of the Bard.

Interestingly, many of his quotes have been used as film and book titles. We all know ‘The Dogs of War’ by Frederick Forsyth, but did we all know that this is taken from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar and the full quote is ‘Cry, Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war.’ Yes, you probably did, as you are a clever lot! But what a richly evocative line.

And how about ‘The Darling Buds of May’? That’s another line from Sonnet 18.


‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate,

Rough winds doth shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.‘


H E Bates used this to name his wonderful series of books on the Larkin family, good ole Pop Larkin and his wife Ma Larkin. We all know this is where Catherine Zeta-Jones got her big break as Mariette, and went on to bigger and better things, not sure about marrying Michael Douglas though. But she was pretty good in that Sean Connery film – Entrapment.

There are other wonderful films, and in particular that favourite rainy Sunday afternoon film, ‘This Happy Breed’, (1944) a play by Noel Coward, adapted for film and directed by that titan David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia and Dr Zhivago) that starred Robert Newton (of Treasure Island fame) Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and, of course, a young John Mills as their son Billy. (the quote comes from John of Gaunt in Richard II – Act II scene i).

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley that title is taken from the Tempest, Act V Scene 1 and goes ‘O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t.’ I wonder if that’s what the folk booking to go to Mars are hoping for? A brave new world. Do you think they have read the book?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/200000-apply-for-oneway-mission-to-colonise-mars–but-only-four-can-become-the-first-human-settlers-of-the-red-planet-8806144.html

There are many, many more, which ones do you think I ought to add to the list?