‘Shakespeare no good for kids’ says priest

editorial image

A former Whitby priest has hit out at Shakespeare, calling the legendary Bard’s writing “boring” for schoolchildren.

Graham Taylor, who now lives in Scarborough, has claimed the Government should do more to get children interested in literature.

However, he added that forcing them to read the works of William Shakespeare is not the way forward.

Now a successful author, Mr Taylor owns a cafe and secondhand book shop and said the style of writing and subject makes Shakespeare’s plays incomprehensible to schoolchildren. He added: “Take a book like Of Mice and Men. It is a great book but it is just not relevant to young people and they do not get anything from it.”

In his opinion it would prove much more successful for modern-day authors and storytellers visiting schools to meet children face-to-face.

The New York Times bestselling author explained: “Authors are storytellers. They know how to get people interested in the story and I find that even when we are saying the same things as the teachers, pupils will be more open to us as we are not their teacher.

“The problem is, of course, that authors can not give up all of their time free of charge and so this costs money.

“Funding schools to ensure every pupil has the chance to meet authors and work with them, it makes a huge difference. I see it myself and other authors I speak to do as well.”

This could be aided by the Government bringing more modern writing into the curriculum and Mr Taylor has called for the works of modern authors such as Sue Townsend to be taught in lessons.

Mr Taylor has enjoyed success with a number of his novels, including Shadowmancer, Wormwood and Tersias and his novel Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box was recently made into a film starring Sam Neill and Lena Headey.

Before embarking on a career in writing, Mr Taylor was a police officer, motorcyclist and Anglican vicar in Whitby.

He was speaking in support of The Yorkshire Post’s Turning the Page campaign.