Who needs prosceniums

Another lovely thing happened at the Dover Castle ghost tour (post) that I’ve been turning around in my head.

Around forty-five minutes into it, we were all warmed up and really getting into being scared. Three nine-year-old boys had befriended each other and were goofing around near the front, and one of their mothers was giving me tips on Dover pubs for lunch. At the opening to the castle’s underground tunnels, the guide stopped us and we got ready to hear another ghost story.

“It was during the Napoleonic Wars that a big trunk of gold came in,” he started, “gold to pay the castle soldiers.” According to the story, the soldiers hadn’t been paid for months, so they knew the money pile would be a big one. Two scurrilous deserters (scurrilous is always an excellent word to get into a ghost story) found out when the trunk was going to be moved into the castle, and staked out the tunnel to the treasury that night. Read more...

Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover

I was in Dover last week as the Shakespeare setting for King Lear, where I found a crumbling postwar seaside town with Roman history and lots of confusing nationalism (many asylum-seekers and migrants from Europe enter the UK here). It’s actually a pretty good fit for the apocalyptic play, if maybe not a first pick for an off-season holiday. When my B&B host picked me up from the station, she asked if I were headed to Calais or Canterbury for a day trip, as “There’s not a lot to Dover, Kerry.”

Dover Castle