Campbell’s Soup for the Shakespearean Soul

I finally finished this! And now I’m even managing a post about it. Again, thank you to snow days!

51qkWABAx8L._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_My awesome mother sent me this book, knowing it was right up my alley, err, cobblestone path. Liza Campbell’s A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth’s Castle is a self-explanatory memoir. Liza, the second oldest of five children, was the last to be born at Cawdor Castle, the very fortress that is featured in Shakespeare’s historically based tragedy, the never-shall-we-utter-the-title-of-this-play-on-stage, Macbeth.

I was hooked throughout the book, which was written with a well-rounded vocabulary and a decent pace. As hooked as I was, I was also staying quite busy with the regular duties of daily life, and so I was rushing to finish it before the very same awesome mother and equally awesome aunt came down to visit me. I wanted them to take it back with them and experience the book in turns. Upon discussing, my mama remarked that she would not like to grow up in a castle, as it would seem cold and not very cozy. But it’s not the building that makes a place filled with tension, it’s the people.

Liza Campbell deftly outlines how her own father, the 25th Thane of Cawdor and perhaps afflicted by his cursed ancestors, served as both a mentor and a tormentor in the early years of her life. The story is also populated with lots of other intriguing characters, from various places around the world and various points in history, though Hugh, Liza’s father, remains a central figure. Darkly witty but seriously intimate, A Charmed Life offers an honest view into a distinguished but somewhat dysfunctional noble family’s existence. Although I don’t read as much nonfiction as I should, I was highly influenced by Campbell’s tale and impressed with her apt and insightful quotes, tweeting them whenever I found a scrap of spare time between reading, working, and daydreaming about exploring an ancient castle.


My blog, Curionomastics, opens up in early March! I have been plugging away at creating content for it. Be sure to stay tuned to read about interesting people with intriguing names. Have a wonderful day after Valentine’s Day!

Tee Hee

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