George Wishart It Is

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:42 AM

I have a lot of writing projects I want to do, but it seems like with as busy as semesters are, most of them get relegated to the “sometime in the future” stack. Especially book ideas, but even article ideas. One thing I have been in the mood to do for awhile is try my hand at a play again, but that, like the other ideas, has been relegated to the future bin. Now, I think that will change.

For my elective class on Presbyterian History, the term project is open to creativity, so I have discussed with the professor the idea of writing a historically grounded play. After a few false starts, I think I'm going to focus on the end of early Scottish Reformer George Wishart's life. There is a lot of intrigue involved, particularly given David Cardinal Beaton's unjust execution of Wishart and then the retaliatory death of the cardinal shortly thereafter. It seems like it has good potential for dramatization and wouldn't require a lot of artistic freedoms to create a good sense of timing (too much liberty in plot might not be good for a history project!). Hopefully I can take some time to dive into the Bard's histories once again to freshen up with some new ideas before I go forward; I'd also like to draw some ideas from John Webster. While both Shakespeare and Webster aren't quite contemporaries of Wishart's, the Elizabethan/Jacobean form will suit the story well and still be somewhat related in time to boot (not that it really matters).

Now I just need to collect interesting details from Wishart's life…

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