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Shakspeare's Children

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  • 248 Seiten
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This is the touching story of a half-Irish boy with a passive nature who grows up in England and has to come to terms with a world... Weiterlesen
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This is the touching story of a half-Irish boy with a passive nature who grows up in England and has to come to terms with a world where bullying and violence are endemic. Shakespeare's Children begins in the 1950s in the ",paradise", of Norfolk where Danny Keaney is loved by Grandpa, ",Fafa",, the local poacher, but then moves to the ",hell", of a ",Shakespeare Free", council estate in Stratford-upon-Avon called ",The Arab Camp.", Harsh and sometimes cruel teachers at the Roman Catholic school and indifferent parents offer no sanctuary from the brutality. Danny, however, grows up to face the bullies who eventually learn to fear him. This long awaited story about a close kinsman of Irish hero Sean McDermott, who becomes a rebel in his own right as a hunt activist, is poignant at times but delightfully funny. Its characters from Stratford are the true children of the Bard.


One night in May 2011 marked a watershed in the life of Danny Keaney. The occasion was a Dinner in Stratford-upon-Avon in honour of his friend the mayor.
Danny was invited to respond on behalf of the people of Stratford to a toast made to the town.

Both Danny and the mayor in earlier life enjoyed (or not) the reputation of being local "tearaways" and both eventually had become pillars of the local establishment. Danny now loves his home town but he loathed it when he arrived from rural Norfolk in the early 1950s. He had been brought up by doting grandparents Charlie and Nellie Baker. Charlie, known as 'Fafa', was the village poacher who kept his shotgun concealed in a sack inside a hollow tree; its whereabouts known only to Danny.

On reaching school age Danny found himself unwittingly pitched into the violent world of a rough council estate when his parents moved to Warwickshire. Over the next decade the hapless boy divided his time between the paradise of Norfolk and the 'hell' of Stratford.... in a large dysfunctional family - one which seemed to possess a touch of Irish madness about it.

Danny, a timid child, found himself the victim of relentless bullying and gratuitous violence from which the only form of defence was to join a gang made up of other children. As they grew older and stronger they graduated from the bottom of the food chain and in turn 'dished it out' to those who were younger and weaker.

"It was story of slaps, punches, knees to the groin, "scratting" around looking for empty bottles to take to the shop in exchange for a few pence, ration books, the rag and bone man who would give you a "day old" chick for a few items of threadbare clothing, dogs humping each other on street corners, gas street-lights that would "pop on" as dusk fell, seemingly long and snowy winters which made you shiver in your cold house, dads dragging branches they had lopped off trees on the estate to make fires to warm their 'frozen' kids. "

Danny's timid nature was gradually replaced by that of rebel with handy fists who could defend himself. Teenage years saw him marked down as a tearaway by local "bobbies". He got to know the inside of the cells at "the local nick" on Saturday nights. The wilder side was later channelled into rugby football where he became the only amateur player in the history of the game to be banned for life twice.

Danny's rebellious nature later found its outlet as a leading pro-hunt activismt His activities at the barricades in Parliament Square were marked out by Special Branch - especially following face-to-face brushes with Tony Blair and John Prescott.

He only came to understand more about himself when he discovered he was the third cousin of Sean McDermott, described in a recent biography as the "Mind" of the 1916 Easter Uprising - for which his kinsman was summarily executed by firing squad. That's a fate Danny managed to avoid but he has always been prepared to go to any extreme to defend what he believes in. These days he has his own small business, is a grand-dad, and happily married. But if a cause should arise......


Titel: Shakspeare's Children
EAN: 9781908477453
ISBN: 978-1-908477-45-3
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (epub)
Herausgeber: Original Writing
Genre: Biographien, Autobiographien
Anzahl Seiten: 248
Veröffentlichung: 13.10.2011
Jahr: 2011
Untertitel: Englisch