Early Theatre 16.2 (2013)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0572 Thursday, 26 December 2013
From: Helen Ostovich <
Date: December 23, 2013 at 6:27:38 PM EST
Subject: Early Theatre 16.2 (2013)
The latest issue of Early Theatre was mailed out at the beginning of December. The online copy for subscribers will be available shortly. Subscriptions can be ordered online at
For any problems receiving hard copy or accessing internet copy, contact the editor in January,
Announcement of Essay Prize Winners for volumes 14 and 15
Procula’s Civic Body and Pilate’s Masculinity Crisis in the York Cycle’s ‘Christ Before Pilate 1: The Dream of Pilate’s Wife'
Aural Space, Sonorous Presence, and the Performance of Christian Community in the Chester Shepherds’ Play
Andrew J. Albin
Advertising Status and Legitimacy: or, Why Did Henry VIII’s Queens and Children Patronize Travelling Performers?
James H. Forse
Theatre and/as Witchcraft: A Reading of The Late Lancashire Witches (1634)
‘Wanton Females of All Sorts’: Spectatorship in The Antipodes
‘For now hath time made me his numbering clock’: Shakespeare’s Jacquemarts
Wendy Beth Hyman
Cupid’s Grand Polititian (1657)
Issues in Review
New Approaches to Earlier Tudor Drama
Contributing Editor: Erin E. Kelly
Introduction: Why Attend to Earlier Tudor Drama
Erin E. Kelly
John Rastell’s London Stage: Reconstructing Repertory and Collaborative Practice
Ecocritical Heywood and The Play of the Weather
New Contexts for Early Tudor Plays: William Briton, an Early Reader of Gorboduc
‘To see the Playes of Theatre newe wrought’: Electronic Editions and Early Tudor Drama
Brett D. Hirsch
Dr H M Ostovich <
Editor, Early Theatre <http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/earlytheatre/>
Professor Emeritus, English and Cultural Studies
Hamilton ON L8S 4L9
Book Announcement: Women Making Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0564 Thursday, 19 December 2013
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Thursday, December 19, 2013
Subject: Book Announcement: Women Making Shakespeare
Women Making Shakespeare: Text, Reception and Performance (Arden Shakespeare) – a volume edited by Gordon McMullan, Virginia Mason Vaughan and Lena Cowen Orlin to celebrate Ann Thompson’s scholarship and mark her retirement – has just published.
Women Making Shakespeare presents a series of 20-25 short essays that draw on a variety of resources, including interviews with directors, actors, and other performance practitioners, to explore the place (or constitutive absence) of women in the Shakespearean text and in the history of Shakespearean reception – the many ways women, working individually or in communities, have shaped and transformed the reception, performance, and teaching of Shakespeare from the 17th century to the present.
The book highlights the essential role Shakespeare’s texts have played in the historical development of feminism. Rather than a traditional collection of essays, Women Making Shakespeare brings together materials from diverse resources and uses diverse research methods to create something new and transformative. Among the many women’s interactions with Shakespeare to be considered are acting (whether on the professional stage, in film, on lecture tours, or in staged readings), editing, teaching, academic writing, and recycling through adaptations and appropriations (film, novels, poems, plays, visual arts).
Thomas of Woodstock [1 Richard II] Performance
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0563 Wednesday, 18 December 2013
From: Michael Egan <
Date: December 16, 2013 at 7:55:54 PM EST
Subject: Thomas of Woodstock [1 Richard II] Performance
1 Richard II is being given a public reading by the RSC in London12/20. The announcement reads as follows:
Thomas of Woodstock is sometimes referred to as Richard II: Part One. It is an anonymous Elizabethan drama, which tells the backstory to Shakespeare’s play, staging the events leading up to the murder of Richard’s Uncle the Duke of Gloucester. The King is deeply implicated in his death – and this is the unspoken crisis with which Shakespeare opens Richard II.
During rehearsals, the RSC company read Thomas of Woodstock to help contextualise the opening scene of Richard II and in doing so, they discovered a truly intriguing play.
Please note the final acknowledgment of the work’s true title, the case for which I have uniquely made in the past few years, and the RSC’s “discovery of a truly intriguing play,” which of course it is. On the other hand, the RSC never contacted me, and I have no idea whether they intend to use the Shakespearean ending I wrote, or whether they are responding to my 2006 book, The Tragedy of Richard II Part One. But we are making progress.
Online Shakespeare Course in January
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0562 Friday, 13 December 2013
From: Allston James <
Date: December 12, 2013 at 10:39:42 AM EST
Subject: Online Shakespeare Course in January, 100% Online
Allston James is offering an online course through Monterey Peninsula College (Calif.) called SHAKESPEARE VISIONS: Film & Text, a 3-unit, 4-week online class that will examine three PBS Great Performance productions: Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth, Ian McKellen’s King Lear, and David Tennant’s Hamlet. Students will view the productions via free streaming video and discuss them in an online forum.
Register now for ENGL 16, January 2-28, at www.mpc.edu. Non-resident tuition applies. Contact Allston if you have questions:
Monterey Peninsula College
Conference Announcement: “Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography”
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0561 Wednesday, 12 December 2013
From: Elyse Martin <
Date: December 11, 2013 at 4:29:13 PM EST
Subject: Conference Announcement: “Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography”
The Folger Institute is pleased to announce that applications are now open for its spring conference, “Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography.”
Funding is available to qualified graduate students and faculty from U. S. institutions for travel and lodging through the Folger Institute consortium, and an NEH Collaborative Research grant. For those who do not wish to apply for funding, or for those who are interested in the topic, but not part of an academic institution, a registration form is available here.
I would be happy to answer any questions you or your colleagues may have.
Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography
An NEH Collaborative Research Conference
There is no more iconic figure with whom to push forward a fresh critical evaluation of the aims and methods of literary biography than Shakespeare. Within the academy, textual analysis often denies biography any explanatory force, while popular conceptions of Shakespeare look to biography precisely for insight into the works. In the standoff, the genre of literary biography is lost as a subject of serious inquiry. On the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, the Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies will undertake a rigorous investigation of the multiple—and conflicted—roles biography plays in the reception of Shakespeare today. A cadre of influential scholars, many of whom have written biographies of Shakespeare, will focus discussion on such topics as the distinctions between authorship and agency, the interpretations of documentary evidence, the impact of methods of dating texts on an understanding of Shakespeare’s life, the broadened context for that life of a more robust understanding of theatrical activity, and the possibility that biography is itself a form of historical fiction. The conference opens Thursday evening with a session that doubles as Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture. In his presentation on “Shakespeare, Biography & Anti-Biography,” Brian Cummings will discuss the problem of writing the life of Shakespeare in terms of the documentary history and its haunting sense of missing links.
Organizers: Brian Cummings (Anniversary Professor of English, University of York), Kathleen Lynch (Executive Director, Folger Institute), and David Schalkwyk (Academic Director of the Global Shakespeare Project, Queen Mary University of London/Warwick University).
Speakers: Tarnya Cooper (National Portrait Gallery), Ian Donaldson (University of Melbourne), John Drakakis (University of Stirling), Katherine Duncan-Jones (Somerville College, Oxford), Lawrence Goldman (St. Peter’s College, Oxford), Stephen Greenblatt (Harvard University), Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania), Graham Holderness (University of Hertfordshire), Julia Reinhard Lupton (University of California, Irvine), Jack Lynch (Rutgers University), Lena Cowen Orlin (Georgetown University), Lois Potter (University of Delaware), Joseph Roach (Yale University), and William H. Sherman (Victoria and Albert Museum, University of York)
Schedule: Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon, 3 – 5 April 2014.
Apply: 13 January 2014 for grants-in-aid to support travel and lodging. A generous NEH Collaborative Research grant extends funding eligibility to qualified graduate students and faculty from U.S. institutions. Application form is available here.
Registration: For those not planning to request travel and lodging funding, a registration form is available here.
Please direct any further questions to
Newly Designed Map of Early Modern London (MoEML)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0554 Tuesday, 10 December 2013
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Subject: Newly Designed Map of Early Modern London (MoEML)
As I mentioned in the last digest, in addition to the rollout of the newly designed Internet Shakespeare Editions, the latest iteration of the Map of Early Modern London is also now available at http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca .
Janelle Jenstad wrote today about MoEML:
“We didn’t plan to launch the new designs for MoEML and the ISE on the very same day ... but what a triumph! The ISE’s gorgeous new design was entirely the work of Michael Best and his team. Kudos to Michael, Telka Duxbury, Maxwell Terpstra, and Sarah Milligan.”
If you are not familiar with MoEML, let me quote from the web site.
The Map of Early Modern London is comprised of four distinct, interoperable projects: a digital Map and gazetteer based on the 1560s Agas woodcut map of London; an Encyclopedia of London people, places, topics, and terms; a Library of marked-up texts rich in London toponyms; and a versioned edition of John Stow’s Survey of London.
These four projects draw data from MoEML’s five databases: a Placeography of locations (e.g., streets, sites, playhouses, taverns, churches, wards, and topographical features); a Personography of early modern Londoners, both historical and literary; an Orgography of organizations (e.g., livery companies and other corporations); a Bibliography of primary and secondary sources; and a Glossary of terms relevant to early modern London. All of the files in our databases use a common TEI tagset that enables us to work with primary and secondary texts simultaneously.
The Map will allow users to visualize, overlay, combine, and query the information in the MoEML databases that populate the Encyclopedia, Library, and Stow editions.
What is the Agas map?
Civitas Londinum is a bird’s-eye view of London first printed from woodblocks in about 1561. Widely known as the “Agas map,” from a spurious attribution to surveyor Ralph Agas (c.1540-1621), the map offers a richly detailed view both of the buildings and streets of the city and of its environment. No copies survive from 1561, but a modified version was printed in 1633. In the later version of the map, the Stuart coat of arms replaces the Elizabethan one, and the Royal Exchange, which opened in 1571, occupies the triangle created by the convergence of Threadneedle and Cornhill Streets.
MoEML and the Map
MoEML v. 5, launched on 9 December 2013, retains the map tiles from our 2006 site while we work on rebuilding the map interface. For MoEML, the map is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows us to visualize literary and historical data, a material object with its own historical and aesthetic interest, and a text in its own right.
Future Plans for the Map
We are currently working on a new edition of the Agas map, freshly scanned by the London Metropolitan Archives and then stitched together and edited by the MoEML team to create an ideal text. We are redrawing all the streets, sites, and boundaries in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and will be launching it in an OpenLayers platform to provide maximum interactivity and drawing capabilities to our users. Our edition of the map will include critical materials about the genre, accuracy, provenance, preservation, and subsequent adaptations of the map.
In mid-November on the MoEML blog, Janelle wrote the following:
Welcome to MoEML v.5!
18 November 2013 Janelle Jenstad
Welcome to the new and improved version of The Map of Early Modern London! What you see is the result of over a year of dreaming, thinking, debating, planning, implementing, testing, and tweaking. Even though we’re still working out some glitches, it’s time to point our URL at the new site and share it with the world.
Our new design, MoEML v.5, highlights the four distinct but wholly interoperable projects that make up MoEML: the Map, the Encyclopedia, the Library, and our forthcoming edition of John Stow’s Survey of London. The four tiles on the home page are repeated in the top navigation bar to make it easy to go from one project to another.
Each project now has its own drop-down menu and its own landing page, both of which will help our users (you!) see at a glance what resources are available. For example, the Encyclopedia landing page directs you to Topics, a Glossary, and our four “-ographies”: a Placeography of London locations, a Personography of historical and literary figures, an Orgography of organizations, and a Bibliography of primary and secondary resources.
We’ve freshened up the look of the site with new fonts, new colours, and a new banner, all built with accessibility issues in mind. The colours are chosen from an early modern jewel palette; the red daisy “fav” icon is inspired by the enamel flowers in the Cheapside Hoard. I hope you agree that we’ve come a long way since MoEML v.2, the HTML site that lived on the University of Windsor intranet from 2000 to 2003.
But this redesign is more than just a new look. We’ve rethought our metadata. We’re giving credit for all the activities associated with building this project, in keeping with our commitment to the Collaborators’ Bill of Rights. We have added new material to the Library. We have big plans for the Agas map and for John Stow’s Survey, the two anchors of our project. I’ll have more to say in the days ahead about MoEML v.5’s new features, one of which is this blog.
For now, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the amazing MoEML team, particularly the three people who have led the charge in the redesign. Martin Holmes, our programmer since 2011 and my co-applicant on MoEML’s current SSHRC grant, has rebuilt the site infrastructure to support this new design, somehow managing to maintain both the old site and the new for over a year. When Assistant Project Director Kim McLean-Fiander joined us in February, I discovered (with considerable relief) that she is a gifted designer in her own right. She took responsibility for the look of the site, drawing mock-ups, finding cognate projects, and reminding us to think about usability at every turn. Designer Pat Szpak gave us three great concepts at the outset of this process and has graciously responded to and realized all our suggestions since.
During the process, we’ve had two research teams come and go. Cameron Butt tackled the huge job of mocking up our menus on long sheets of brown paper on the HCMC wall back in Summer 2012. He, Michael Stevens, Nathan Phillips, Sarah Milligan and Noam Kaufman weighed in on early design choices over the 2012-2013 year. Our Summer 2013 team, Zaqir Virani in particular, was deeply involved in testing. Tye Landels, our encoder, has worked shoulder to shoulder with Martin Holmes and Kim McLean-Fiander in developing the document type taxonomy and the new menu system. I’m grateful every day to work with these astonishingly talented and committed people.
We’d be glad to have your feedback as we move forward. Let us know if you see errors or if a page feature doesn’t seem to work on your device or browser. [Note: We are aware that the site does not render well on all hand-held devices. We’re working a mobile style sheet as I write!] Tell us what you like about the site, how you use it in your research or teaching, or what you’d like to see in future versions. Just click on the “Send feedback” link on the left side of any page to send an email directly to us.
Rollout of Newly Designed Internet Shakespeare Editions Site
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0553 Tuesday, 10 December 2013
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Subject: Rollout of Newly Designed Internet Shakespeare Editions Site
Today in Facebook I saw two announcements of interest to all Shakespeareans. I will discuss the ISE here and MoEML in the next digest. But let me begin with my sincerest congratulations to Michael Best and Janelle Jenstad.
Michael Best, Coordinating Editor of ISE, wrote on The ISE Facebook page:
“Gasp. Whew. The new ISE site is up and running as of today. Months of work, but worth it. Check it out at http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/.”
Janelle Jenstad, Assistant Coordinating Editor of ISE, also wrote about the newly designed ISE site launch:
“Launched like a rocket! The new-look ISE site is up and running. Check it out. New look, smarter navigation, easier access to resources—and more content. Check out the left column of each page for features that allow you to search and view the site in different ways. We welcome your feedback. A big thanks to the many who contributed. Our editors, our Editorial Board, and the great team here at the University of Victoria that guided us to this point. Max Terpstra and Telka Duxbury led a great team of programmers and research assistant.”
I have had look at the site and it is truly impressive. Kudos to all.
To celebrate the launch, I am reproducing the December 2013 edition of The Shakespeare Herald, the ISE newsletter.
The Herald: December 2013
Welcome to the second issue of The Shakespeare Herald, the newsletter of the Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE). In this issue, we trumpet our plans for redesign and the new texts we’re working on, as well as updates on the Chronicle, our mobile site, and our Making Waves campaign. And we wish all our readers the very best for the holiday season.
The ISE continues its tradition of introducing Shakespeare on stage and (digital) page in new and intuitive formats. We bring fully-edited, peer-reviewed works to a computer—or mobile device—near you.
As we are currently in the midst of a redesign, we want to know what you would like to see on the site. What kind of features would enhance your digital Shakespeare experience? Let us know on our Facebook page or send us feedback.
A Notable Word from the Coordinating Editor
Claudio. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?
Benedick. I noted her not, but I looked on her.
(Much Ado About Nothing TLN 159-160 )
Typically, Benedick is teasing. His young friend Claudio wants to know whether Benedick was impressed by the attractive young Hero, daughter of their host. Benedick pours cold water on his enthusiasm by punning on “note”—he saw her (noticed her), but did not pay attention to her (note her).
We do this all the time. We notice things, we note things, and we take notes on the things that strike our notice. Until recently, one of the features of reading online was that there were no margins to scribble in, no way of adding our own thoughts to those we were reading on the screen in front of us. One of our copies of the first quarto of King Lear, from the British Library, has manuscript notes in it of this kind.
Now this is changing. One of the new tools we can offer those who become Friends of the ISE is the capacity to take (and save) notes as they work on our site. Friends (or clients of libraries that have become Friends) can log in, and can then access a link in our newly-designed Toolbox to permit them to highlight text, then enter their notes in a text box.
Because our works are produced by scholars, and peer-reviewed, the underlying text on the page will be unchanged—but visitors to the site can work online, creating their own web of comment for later reference, much as many of us do with a physical book we are studying.
If you have become a Friend of the ISE, please try out this notable feature.
New Texts Published
If you are in the mood for a shout of English patriotism, or need a good fiery comment to fire at a teenager who is being unusually challenging, the ISE now has modern-spelling texts ready for you to quote.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
(Henry V, (Modern, Folio), TLN 1084 )
I would there were no age between ten and three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest, for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting. . .
(The Winter's Tale (Modern), TLN 1504 )
James Mardock’s Henry V and Hardin Aasand’s Winter’s Tale are now fully published online. For each play you will find extensive introductory essays, explanatory notes on the language of the play, meticulous recording of textual variants, and a full complement of supplementary works from the period that provide a context for the study of Shakespeare’s plays.
One of the most powerful features of a digitally published work is that it can be improved over time. In the next months we will be adding multimedia, both in the provision of extensive graphics and some video clips of performance.
More on the way
We have recently published modern-spelling texts of Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II and Henry IV, Part Two.
Our New Look and Additional Features
“Fresh array and entertainment” (As You Like It, TLN 2207)
We are pleased to announce the launch of an enhanced and updated version of the site. We have taken advantage of advances in browser technology and interface design by offering a cleaner look and more detailed menus to guide our users through our extensive Shakespeare resources. We have also taken this opportunity to upgrade a number of features of the site, and to add some more tools for research.
Over the years we have made many changes and improvements to the site, at one stage experimenting with adding advertisements (we ended that experiment when they brought in very little to support the site). But in the rapidly-evolving world of the Internet we need to keep up with changing technologies and user expectations. The background graphic design and navigation of the site has been unchanged for several years, and it’s a tribute to the fine work done by our designers, Roberta Livingstone and Chris Chong that it lasted so well. When we first created our splash page, we were rather worried that it would ask too much of the then-narrow bandwith of most users on the Web. But times have changed, and it’s now possible to update the fonts, the general appearance of the site, and the means of navigating through it.
Enhanced menus at the top of the screen take you directly to the area of the site that has the information you seek.
We have moved our Toolbox and Page Contents from the right of the screen to the left. We found that some visitors were missing these features because they had become so used to ignoring advertisements in this space.
For Friends of the ISE we have added some new research tools:
The capacity to take and save notes on any page of the site.
A printable view of all annotations in any scene of the play (when fully edited).
Our thanks again to Roberta Livingstone, who worked with Jon Valade from IdeaZone in producing the graphics and the improved navigation. Our team of programmers and research assistants, under the leadership of Max Terpstra and Telka Duxbury, have worked hard to bring the new version to our global audience.
An Update on the Chronicle
At the end of August, some ISE team members ventured out to see a special production of Twelfth Night at the annual Victoria Fringe Festival. The Japanese Ryuzanji Company put on a Rakujuku Kabuki style adaptation of the play, set in imperial Japan. “Rakujuku” loosely translates as “having fun troupe,” and the actors’ energetic performance never betrayed their average age of 61. The ISE crew enjoyed the performance so much that Janelle ended up going back for another showing with her children. You can find our collaborative review of the innovative and entertaining production on the ISE Performance Chronicle
Have you seen a Shakespeare production that you wish you could review? Are you a scholar, actor, student, or passionate theatergoer who loves to write? We’re always looking for more reviewers.
As an online journal devoted to contemporary Shakespeare theater reviews, the Chronicle provides a unique platform for theater practitioners, scholars, critics, and the general audience to analyze and discuss contemporary Shakespeare productions. The Chronicle calls attention to the different ways Shakespeare is performed around the world, and, through your contributions, will create a substantial and permanent database of informed criticism for future Shakespeare lovers and scholars. Photographs and other artifacts are heartily welcomed, and will be added to ISE’s Shakespeare in Performance database.
The Chronicle allows you to browse or search the reviews, post a review, comment on and rate others’ reviews, subscribe to receive email notification for a new review of a particular play, and search reviews for specific information.
If you are interested in contributing a review, please go to the site and create a logon id for yourself. You can enter details of a production, then review it. Or, if you prefer, you can email sipadmin[at]uvic.ca for more information.
After the Launch: Our Mobile Site
As we promised in our first issue of The Shakespeare Herald, we have launched the first version of our mobile site so that you can carry the ISE (and Shakespeare, by association) in your pocket wherever your journeys may take you. Developed for Android and Apple iOS, our mobile site has garnered interest by users both on tablets and phones. Not surprisingly, our most visitors are coming to us via iPad and iPhone, though some are using Android-powered devices. As intended, those of you visiting us via mobile device are viewing only the specific pages you need and staying just long enough to find the information required, presumably to use us to win an argument, and move along with your intense scholarly debate. We’re happy to help!
Still, less than 10% of our site traffic is coming from our mobile site. Remember that we are here to help you prove yourself right or your friends wrong in all aspects of Shakespearean debate. Need to determine which version of a line is the most authentic? Planning a Shakespearean night out and want to know when and where the next show of Measure for Measure is? Check us out on your phone or tablet and we’ll hook you up.
Haven’t tested the mobile site yet? Explore Shakespeare’s life and times, read the plays and poems, browse the performance database for adaptations of your favorite play.
We’d love to hear your feedback! Submit your comments, questions, and ideas to help us optimize the mobile site.
“Making Waves” with Friends of the ISE
Friends of the ISE are helping to create a legacy, allowing students around the globe (pun intended) to discover Shakespeare and learn why his works still inspire a passion in readers and performers four hundred years after his death. As innovators in the emerging field of open-access and digital scholarship, we are thrilled to invite you to join our thriving network of libraries who are building a sustainable future for the ISE so that we can continue providing your students and faculty with the best, most accessible Shakespeare resources.
Over the past year and half, over a dozen libraries across Canada, America, and Europe have partnered with the ISE to raise funds to ensure the that we continue to provide open access to peer-reviewed Shakespeare resources. As a result of these partnerships, we’ve passed our first milestone: we’ve raised $50 000 towards our $1.5 million goal, enough for us to create an endowment fund from which the revenue will eventually provide sufficient funds for the maintenance of the site, independent of granting agencies. This year we aim to double that.
For well over a decade the Internet Shakespeare Editions has been making the best literature freely available to those who thirst for knowledge. Now we are inviting you to become our partner as a Friend of the ISE.
Friends of the ISE receive additional benefits for their students and faculty. Our tool-box, designed especially for and accessible only to Friends of the ISE, includes a print-ready view of each page and a pop-up window with a formatted citation of each page. We have also recently added a print-ready view of all explanatory notes in the edited texts – a valuable tool for those who wish to work in detail on one of the fully edited and peer-reviewed plays. In addition, your institution will be acknowledged on our site.
Join our growing list of Friends
Not affiliated with an institution? Individual memberships for independent scholars and researchers will be available soon!
For more information about the Making Waves campaign and becoming a Friend of the ISE, explore the library and individual membership pages or contact us directly by email at
or by phone (250) 472-5152.
Shakespeare in the News
Year round here at the ISE we are constantly on alert for new Shakespeare facts or features in the news. Almost four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare is still showing up and proving his relevance around the world. Ever the master of the popular media in his time, Shakespeare permeates todays social media (as shown on our Facebook and Twitter pages).
Shakespeare and Robben Island
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
(Julius Caesar, TLN 1020-25 )
Nelson Mandela, imprisoned on Robben Island, highlighted these words in the much-thumbed copy of Shakespeare's works sneaked into the prison. Check out this moving video from VOA News where the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library talks about the copy of the Complete Works they have in their collection that shows the influence of Shakespeare' on prisoners on Robben Island. They read, learned from, and were entertained by Shakespeare during their sentences.
Mandela would also have read these words, deeply appropriate as a tribute to the remarkable man who read them:
The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!
It is impossible that ever Rome
Should breed thy fellow.
(Julius Caesar, TLN 2589-91 )
We are privileged to have shared this world with Nelson Mandela, a man who combined so fully the virtues of integrity and humility with strength and remarkable political acumen.
Shakespeare as collaborator
Finding a lost Shakespeare work would be an extraordinary coup for any scholar. And there have been many candidates over the years, from the attribution of "A Funeral Elegy" to the recent claim that Theobald's play Double Falsehood was a version of the lost original, Cardenio, known to have been written by Shakespeare and his collaborator in two other late plays, John Fletcher.
The latest candidate is not a play, but some additions to an earlier work, Thomas Kyd's hugely popular revenge play The Spanish Tragedy. In August, the New York Times published an article reporting on the attribution of the additions to Shakespeare. The play was first published in 1592, then later, with the additions, in 1602. It was not uncommon for theater companies to update popular plays with topical passages, or speeches that picked up on changing tastes.
The passages were recently subjected to computer-aided stylistic analysis by Brian Vickers, who published an article in which he claimed a “definite attribution” to Shakespeare (Shakespeare 8:1 2012). The New York Times piece quotes Shakespeare Scholar Douglas Bruster, who has followed up with arguments based on what we know of Shakespeare’s handwriting and its effect on the published work. The ISE’s General Textual Editor, Eric Rasmussen, comments “We don’t have any absolute proof, but this is as close as you can get.”
The passages focus on the protagonist of the tragedy, Hieronymo, who has been driven mad by the murder of his son. One is an added monologue where he muses on the nature of the bond between father and son, wondering why a child should have a stronger hold on the parent than any other young animal:
What is there yet in a son
To make a father dote, rave, or run mad?
Being born, it pouts, cries, and breeds teeth,
What is there yet in a son? He must be fed,
Be taught to go [walk], and speak. Ay, or yet?
Why might not a man love a calf as well?
Or melt in passion o'er a frisking kid [young goat]?
As for a son? (3.9)
This may or may not be Shakespeare, but it is strong blank verse, and communicates an anger, if not madness, that is convincing. In due course The Spanish Tragedy will no doubt appear on our sibling site, Digital Renaissance Editions. When it does so, perhaps the additional passages will magically appear on the Internet Shakespeare Editions as well. In the digital world such magic is not difficult to program.
BBC Shakespeare to be released
The BBC is planning to release over 1,000 hours of Shakespeare materials—in audio and video—in time for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 1616. An article in The Sunday Times (6 October) described the plans set out by the Director General of the BBC, Lord Hall, Baron of Birkenhead (aka Tony Hall). Lord Hall plans to return to something closer to the original aims of the BBC from its early years, when its mission was “educate, inform, entertain.”
[An aside: in an age when arguably almost all television is focused purely on the third aim in this list, some attempt to return to the importance of education would be hugely welcome.]
The Times remarked that the release of the materials will mean that “Viewers will be able to compare Sir John Gielgud’s 1948 Hamlet with the 1972 version by Sir Ian McKellen and the 2009 production by David Tennant. This wonderfully stimulating (educational, informative, entertaining) approach is exactly the aim of our own database of Shakespeare in performance. We will do our utmost to acquire as many of these materials as they become available for open access use.
[Another aside: playing Hamlet for the BBC seems to lead to an inevitable knighthood—so there is every likelihood that David Tennant will become the first Dr. Who to become Sir Doctor Who.]
The ISE is made possible by generous support from the University of Victoria, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and by libraries that have become Friends of the ISE.
Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the French Borders of English
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0551 Friday, 6 December 2013
From: Michael Saenger <
Date: December 5, 2013 at 12:26:46 PM EST
Subject: Book Announcement
I am very proud to announce the publication of my second book, Shakespeare and the French Borders of English, from Palgrave Macmillan, now available on Amazon. It is an ambitious theorization of Shakespeare’s relationship to France, as a country, as a historical and linguistic presence in England, and as a setting for his plays. I won’t go on for long in this space, but I think you’ll find it a good read.
All the best,
Associate Professor of English
Shakespeare and the French Borders of English
The Commodification of Textual Engagements in the English Renaissance
Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabethains and Announcement
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0548 Thursday, 5 December 2013
From: Jean-Christophe Mayer <
Date: December 4, 2013 at 1:56:39 PM EST
Subject: Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabethains and Announcemen
Dear List Members,
The latest issue of Cahiers Elisabethains is now available: Cahiers Elisabethains 84 (2013).
* We are proud to announce that as of 2014 our journal will be published in both print and electronic formats by Manchester University Press. For a free sample of the electronic version of our previous issue, click here: <http://tinyurl.com/kx5rbmv> and to read the press release access <http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/uploads/docs/CahiersPressRelease.pdf>
* Please note also that article submissions are now open for the next issues of the journal. For details about submissions and/or subscriptions, please see the end of this message or visit <http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?showinfo=ip038>
Alice Leonard: “Enfranchised” Language in Henry V and The Dutch Courtesan
H. Gaston Hall: Repetition, Inversion and Metaphor in Two Moments of Hamlet
Gordon Jones: The Sad Shepherd Revisited
PERFORMANCE IN CONTEXT ARTICLES
Susan L. Fischer: Opera as Theatre: Verdi’s “Mythical” Macbeth on the Boards of the French Stage
Sarah Hatchuel: Down to Earth: Branagh’s Macbeth at Manchester International Festival 2013
A Satire of the Three Estates, directed by Greg Thompson for “Staging the Scottish Court”, The Peel at Linlithgow Palace, 8 June 2013 (Lucy R. Hinnie)
Coriolanus, directed by Lin Zhaohua for the Beijing People’s Art Theatre, China, The Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh International Festival, 20 August 2013 (Anne-Kathrin Marquardt)
Edward II, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, Olivier Theatre (National), London, 17 September 2013
A Mad World, My Masters, directed by Sean Foley for the RSC, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 13 June 2013 (Peter J. Smith)
As You Like It, directed by Maria Aberg for the RSC, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 24 April 2013 (James Stredder)
Othello, directed by Nicholas Hytner for the National Theatre, London, 22 June 2013 (Neil Allan)
Pericles, directed by Allyn Burrows, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, Boston, USA, 20 April 2013 (Kaara L. Peterson)
As You Like It, directed by Dan Rothenberg of Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre, for The Acting Company in association with the Guthrie Theater, Dowling Studio, Minneapolis, USA, 15 January 2013; & The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night, directed by Edward Hall for Propeller in association with the Touring Partnership, Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust Stage, 6 March and 19 March 2013 respectively (Gayle Gaskill)
Richard III, directed by Tim Carroll at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 13 September, and 6 October 2012 (José A. Pérez Díez)
Twelfth Night, directed by Tim Carroll, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 27 September and 10 October 2012 (José A. Pérez Díez)
Harry The Sixth / The Houses of York and Lancaster / The True Tragedy of the Duke of York, directed by Nick Bagnall for Shakespeare’s Globe, Theatre Royal, York, 6 July 2013 (Peter Kirwan)
Macbeth, directed by Eve Best, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 16 July 2013 (Peter J. Smith)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 31 May 2013 (Peter J. Smith)
The Tempest, directed by Jeremy Herrin, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 7 May 2013 (Peter J. Smith)
Indian Tempest, directed by Paddy Hayter for Footsbarn in collaboration with Abhinaya Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 1 August 2013 (Thea Buckley)
David Carnegie and Gary Taylor, eds., The Quest for Cardenio: Shakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) (Jeffrey Kahan)
Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, eds., Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) (Peter Kirwan)
Pascale Aebischer, Screening Early Modern Drama: Beyond Shakespeare (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) (Peter Kirwan)
Florence March, Shakespeare au Festival d’Avignon. Configurations textuelles et scéniques, 2004-2010 (Montpellier: L’Entretemps, 2012) (Nathalie Rivère de Carles)
Barbara L. Estrin, Shakespeare and Contemporary Fiction. Theorizing Foundling and Lyric Plots (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2012) (Janice Valls-Russell)
BOOKS RECEIVED (Compiled by Janice Valls-Russell)
Submissions can be send to either of Cahiers's assistant editors: <
> or <
For more information, consult our website or write to: <
With our best wishes for the festive season,
Jean-Christophe Mayer and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin
Online HAMLET Lecture Announcement
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0546 Wednesday, 4 December 2013
From: Jake Goldberg <
Date: December 4, 2013 at 11:18:34 AM EST
Subject: Online HAMLET Lecture Announcement
For its next online event, LibertasU has invited two well-respected academics, Professors John Alvis and Thomas K. Lindsay, to discuss Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the perspectives of Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Machiavelli. Professor John Alvis will be presenting Shakespeare’s interpretation of Hamlet and Fortinbras, while Professor Tom Lindsay will be presenting Machiavelli’s views on both.
This lecture will be limited to 18 guests and will feature ample opportunity for questions, discussion and debate.
Where: The LibertasU virtual campus
When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 8:00PM Eastern time
How: To register, send an email to
Info: For more information please visit www.libertasu.com/freelecture4.html
LibertasU is an independent and nonsectarian private institution, devoted to making high quality, liberal arts courses available to as many people as possible. It is committed to maintaining the highest level of academic integrity and to fostering a culture of open dialogue and debate of ideas.