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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: May ::
Response: American Acclimatization Society
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 129. Friday, 10 May 1991.
 
Subject: 2.0121  Query: American Acclimatization Society
Comment: 	Re: SHK 2.0121  Query: American Acclimatization Society
Date: 		Thu, 9 May 91 11:17:24 CDT
From: 		Michael Dobson (
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To: Edward Z. Kellogg, via Ken Steele and any interested SHAKSPERians
 
Dear Sir --
 
	You have probably gathered by now, as I have, from the
National Union Catalogue that The American Acclimatization Society published
its Charter and By-Laws in New York in 1871; there's a copy in the
New York Public Library.  If you succeed in obtaining access to this
doubtless fascinating document, I should be delighted to hear about it,
although I must say that the cultural dimensions of the phenomenon interest
me rather more than do the biological ones. (The idea that all the starlings
in the U.S. are metaphorical deputies for the offstage one imagined saying
'Mortimer, Mortimer' in *1 Henry IV* is a very striking one...and what were
they planning to do about the Phoenix?)
 
        If it's of the remotest interest, while we're on the subject of
ecologically dubious expressions of American bardolatry, what claims to be
the first 'Shakespeare garden' in the States was established on the campus
at Northwestern University as part of the 1916 tricentennial celebrations;
lots of plants mentioned in the plays, a vague simulacrum of a knot-garden,
and a fetching memorial complete with suitable quotations from *MSND* and
*W'sT*.  It's a very pleasant place (at this time of year), if inevitably
totally unlike any possible English garden due to the horrors of the
Chicago climate.  The same impulse to cling to some degree of
referentiality for the American Shakespeare, to prevent American readers
always feeling that the details of his texts are preoccupied with a
never-never land somewhere else, seems to fuel the (continuing?) project of
nurturing such gardens as presumably drove the Bardolatrous element in the
American Acclimatization Society.
 
	Curious to hear more about the whole strange business, I remain
 
				               yrs ever
 
						Michael Dobson
						c/o Dept of English
    						    Northwestern University
 

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