Today’s the day?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.203  Wednesday, 23 April 2014


From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 23, 2014 at 10:58:24 AM EDT

Subject:    Today’s the day?


Today, I begin with a few presents on the traditional date for the celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday 


Today’s Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online’s Life of the Week is Peter Holland’s marvelous entry for William Shakespeare:


It is well worth a reading or a re-reading, whatever the case.




Shakespeare, William (1564–1616), playwright and poet, was baptized, probably by the parish priest, John Bretchgirdle (or Bracegirdle), in Holy Trinity, the parish church of Stratford upon Avon, on 26 April 1564, the third child of John Shakespeare (d. 1601) [see below] and Mary Arden (d. 1608). It seems appropriate that the first of many gaps in the records of Shakespeare’s life should be the exact date of his birth, though that is a common problem for the period. He was probably born on 21, 22, or 23 April 1564, given the 1559 prayer book’s instructions to parents on the subject of baptisms. But, ever since Joseph Greene, an eighteenth-century Stratford curate, informed the scholar George Steevens that Shakespeare was born on 23 April, with no apparent evidence for his assertion, and Steevens adopted that date in his 1773 edition of Shakespeare, it has been usual to assume that Shakespeare was born on St George’s day, so that England’s patron saint and the birth of the ‘national poet’ can be celebrated on the same day. Where he was born is clearer: in 1564 his parents appear to have been living in Henley Street, probably in part of the building now known as Shakespeare’s Birthplace but, equally probably, not in that part of the building in which the room traditionally known as the place of Shakespeare’s birth is located. The accretion of myth and commerce around Shakespeare’s biography and its material legacy produces such paradoxes.


Shakespeare's parents

Richard Shakespeare, a husbandman and probably John’s father, had settled in Snitterfield near Stratford by 1529 and had died by February 1561, leaving property that he rented from Robert Arden of Wilmcote. Robert Arden was a member of the younger branch of the powerful Arden family; his father, Thomas Arden, lived at Wilmcote and passed lands, probably quite extensive, to his son. Robert married twice: with his first wife, Agnes Hill, née Webbe, he had at least eight children, all girls, the youngest of whom was Mary; there appear to have been no children from the second marriage, though there were stepchildren.

The two families, Ardens and Shakespeares, were linked by Richard Shakespeare’s tenancy from Robert Arden. But John Shakespeare (b. in or before 1530, d. 1601) did not continue Richard’s occupation. By the time he married Mary Arden (some time between November 1556 and 1558), he had established himself in Stratford as a glover and whittawer (a dresser of light-coloured leather). He lived in Henley Street, buying a house and garden there in 1556 and starting to buy further property in town. In this he might well have been helped by his wife’s inheritance: in Robert Arden’s will of November 1556 she was named one of the two executors and supervised the substantial inventory of his goods and moveables in December 1556 after his death. She also inherited the valuable estate in Wilmcote known as Asbies, land that on her marriage came to her husband.

John and Mary Shakespeare were probably married in Aston Cantlow, the parish church for Wilmcote and the place where Robert Arden wanted to be buried. The exact date of the wedding is unknown but their first child, Joan, was born in September 1558 (and may well have died in infancy); Margaret was baptized in December 1562 and was buried the following April. A year later William was born. He survived the devastating plague that killed one in eight of the town’s population later the same year. There were five more children: Gilbert (1566–1612), another Joan (born 1569, indicating that John and Mary’s first child must have died by that year; she was the only sibling to outlive William, dying in 1646), Anne (1571–1579), Richard (1574–1613), and Edmund (1580–1607). All but Anne lived to adulthood. William’s childhood was thus spent in a steadily increasing family and there were other relatives nearby: his uncle Henry Shakespeare, John’s brother, lived in Snitterfield and many of his mother’s sisters married local men.

John Shakespeare bought more property in Stratford in 1575, almost certainly including the rest of the ‘Birthplace’, creating a substantial house which even though it incorporated space for his workshop amounted to a fine home for his expanding family. But this period was also one of ever-increasing civic importance for John Shakespeare. He had risen through the lesser offices of the borough and, by the time of William’s birth, was one of the fourteen burgesses of Stratford. In 1565 he became an alderman and in 1568 was elected bailiff for the year, the highest office in the town. In 1571 he became chief alderman and deputy bailiff. At about this time he also seems to have applied for a coat of arms. The family’s wealth was also growing and the civic importance and high social standing that John Shakespeare had achieved in a brief period provided the context for William’s upbringing.

But in the following years something seems to have gone wrong with John Shakespeare’s finances. At the start of the 1570s he was stretching his commercial activities beyond his trade, dealing illegally in wool and also being prosecuted for usury. By the end of the decade he was in debt; in 1578 he mortgaged some of Mary’s inheritance and lost it in 1580 when he could not repay the sum, land that would otherwise have been inherited by William in due course. He stopped attending council meetings after 1576 as well, and was replaced as an alderman in 1586. All of this too provided a family context for William’s youth; the decline in John Shakespeare’s fortunes cannot have been unaccompanied by anxiety.


John Shakespeare and Catholicism

In 1592 John was listed by the presenters for the parish of Stratford upon Avon as an obstinate recusant, among nine on the list whose absence was identified by the presenters and by the commissioners to whom they reported as being ‘for feare of processe for Debtte’ (Schoenbaum, Documentary Life, 39). There is no self-evident reason to distrust this statement, though it has been seen as an excuse to cover secret Catholicism. Certainly some Catholics feigned debt as a reason for recusancy but John Shakespeare’s debts seem real enough.


[ . . . ]


Death and burial

On 23 April 1616 Shakespeare died. John Ward, a clergyman living in Stratford in the 1660s, recorded that ‘Shakespear, Drayton, and Ben Jhonson had a merry meeting, and itt seems drank too hard, for Shakespear died of a feavour there contracted’ (Chambers, 2.250). The story is not impossible but quite what Shakespeare died from is unknown. He was buried two days later in Holy Trinity, inside the church rather than in the churchyard because his purchase of an interest in the Stratford tithes in 1605 made him a lay rector. The epitaph, possibly written by himself, warning future generations to leave his bones where they lay, was inscribed on the grave, though the grave may not originally have been where the stone is now placed. Anne lived until 1623 (she was buried on 8 August) but her tombstone makes no mention of her husband, and refers to only one daughter; Judith seems to have been ignored.


[ . . . ]


The authorship controversy

Within the century’s enshrining of Shakespeare as the icon of the nation there were also other voices of opposition, especially the growth of the belief that the plays, acknowledged as masterpieces, could not possibly have been the work of the ‘man from Stratford’, a mere actor and not a poet (there are shades here of the Romantic glorification of the poet removed from the quotidian world). The idea that someone else had written the plays was said to have been first advanced by the Revd James Wilmot in 1785 (his candidate was reported to have been Francis Bacon) but the lectures that claimed Wilmot held such views, supposedly given by James Corton Cowell in 1805, are now known to be a much later forgery. In 1848 Joseph C. Hart, American consul at Santa Cruz, argued in The Romance of Yachting that the plays were written by university graduates and foisted off as Shakespeare’s. In 1856 Delia Bacon claimed that Francis Bacon or a committee headed by him had been responsible. Her ascription was repeated, independently, by William Henry Smith the following year. Many editors from Pope onwards had doubted Shakespeare’s responsibility for some speeches, scenes, even whole plays—but this was a dislodging of Shakespeare from any authorship of any of his work.

The controversy that followed was energetic. Other candidates emerged, including Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford (proposed by J. Thomas Looney in 1920 and supported by Sigmund Freud), the earl of Rutland (the idea of Peter Alvor in Germany in 1906 and popular there for a while), the earl of Derby (first advanced in 1891 but most strongly in France after 1919), Christopher Marlowe (according to William Ziegler in 1895 and advanced even more strenuously by Calvin Hoffman in 1955), and Queen Elizabeth (George Elliott’s proposal in 1956). All these claims surmount the contemporary evidence for Shakespeare by arguing for an early modern conspiracy and often a later one among academics and others to suppress the ‘truth’. Many resolve the inconveniently early death of their candidate by arguing for posthumous slow release of the plays. Some indulge in cryptograms of mind-boggling complexity to reveal the hidden ‘truth’ of their assertions. Some, like Delia Bacon, were or became mad in pursuit of their claims. Marlowe apart, whose literary ability is unquestioned, all depend on assumptions that the plays display knowledge available only to an aristocrat, university educated, well travelled, and a habitué of courts. This snobbery is exemplified by the comment of Christmas Humphreys, an Oxfordian and a barrister, in 1955: ‘It is offensive to scholarship, to our national dignity, and to our sense of fair play to worship the memory of a petty-minded tradesman’ (Bate, Genius, 93). All distort evidence for their own ends. None is remotely convincing to scholars, though many others have been and remain steadfastly sure that Shakespeare could not have written Shakespeare.


[ . . . ]


Shakespeare and popular culture

For if Shakespeare has often seemed to some to be the prerogative of English high culture, then throughout the world Shakespeare, his image, and his works have been appropriated for every kind of popular cultural usage, signs both of his cultural authority and of the cultural contestation his works provoke.

In Britain politicians of the left and right rely on Shakespeare as a national and quasi-religious authority for their political creeds. The Labour leader Neil Kinnock, the heir to nineteenth-century political oratory with its predilection for quoting Shakespeare, required his speech-writers to know the Bible and Shakespeare, the twin bedrocks of working-class culture. At the opposite end of the political spectrum, right-wing Conservative politicians like Michael Portillo returned with mechanical frequency to Ulysses’s speech on degree in Troilus and Cressida as ‘proof’ that Shakespeare supported the hierarchies and institutions tories were committed to maintain.

Shakespeare’s plays are quoted in every kind of popular film and television programme. Episodes in many situation comedies show how contested the place of Shakespeare is in American or British society as children wrestle with Shakespeare homework, parents quote Shakespeare defiantly, or the school Shakespeare production looms. The last of the original Star Trek films, Star Trek VI (1991), quotes Shakespeare in its subtitle, The Undiscovered Country, and jokes about Shakespeare sounding better in the original Klingon, a language invented for the television series whose devotees have indeed ‘translated’ Hamlet into Klingon (2000). There are pornographic films with fragments of Shakespearian plots (both heterosexual and homosexual) and strip clubs that have tried to avoid censorship by having the strippers speak Shakespeare’s lines.

In the camp horror film Theatre of Blood (1973), a disgruntled Shakespearian actor, played by Vincent Price, murders theatre critics in appropriately Shakespearian ways. The science-fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956) spawned a musical stage adaptation, Return to the Forbidden Planet (1989), which used classic rock songs and Shakespearian puns (‘Beware the Ids that march’). Versions of twelve plays, made as animated 30-minute episodes by S4C, a Welsh television company, in collaboration with Russian animators, were screened in 1992, the texts adapted by Leon Garfield, author of short narrative versions for children, successors to Lambs’ Tales.

There are strip cartoons which use the entire Shakespeare text in speech bubbles as well as one which shows Shakespeare being given his plots by supernatural beings. A British heavyweight boxer, Frank Bruno, appeared on television in drag in a comedy sketch in which he played Juliet in the balcony scene. Shakespeare’s lines appear in rock songs and rap, while a serious popular singer Elvis Costello collaborated with the classical Brodsky Quartet on The Juliet Letters (1996), whose lyrics are imaginary letters to Shakespeare’s heroine. When listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme voted Shakespeare the ‘Man of the millennium’ in 1999, there was hardly any surprise at the choice. Castaways on Desert Island Discs on BBC, the world’s longest-running radio programme, are always allowed a copy of Shakespeare as well as the Bible for their island.

Shakespeare and his characters have been extensively used for advertising. There are cigars named Hamlet, Romeo y Julieta, Falstaff, and Antonio y Cleopatra. His own image and his characters have been used to sell, for example, Ford cars, Shell petrol, Schweppes soft drinks, and Maxwell House coffee and, since 1986, Coca-Cola, Shreddies breakfast cereal, Typhoo tea, and Carling Black Label lager.

Shakespeare has appeared on English banknotes, as a hologram on British cheque-guarantee cards, and on playing cards. His characters have made up chess sets and cigarette cards. There are statues, streets, squares, piazzas, and avenues named after Shakespeare and after his most famous characters in many cities of the world. There are Shakespeare pubs in many British airports and an American company, Celebriducks, sells plastic Shakespeare ducks for the bath. Souvenirs from Stratford have been available since the eighteenth century and ceramic images of Shakespeare as figurines, on plates, toby jugs, and on the tops of walking-sticks proliferated in the nineteenth.

More seriously, the Shakespeare tourist industry is a vital component of the economic stability of the West Midlands region in England and theatre companies like the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe are major employers. There are no figures available for the value of the global Shakespeare economy, but it must run to many billions of pounds per annum. Quite what this extraordinary plethora of Shakespeare material means lies outside the scope of this account. Its mere existence testifies eloquently to the overwhelming presence of Shakespeare, both the man and his works, throughout almost every aspect of the world’s culture, in almost every language, in ways often so familiar as hardly to be noticed. His biography, the history of his life and his cultural afterlives, is not only national but triumphantly international.

Peter Holland


CFP: Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Conference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.198  Tuesday, 22 April 2014


From:        Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 21, 2014 at 3:36:14 PM EDT

Subject:    MAPACA CFP


Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Conference 2014


Call for Papers MAPACA 2014

November 6-8, 2014

Baltimore, MD

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Conference


The wealth of material found in the Middle Ages and Renaissance continues to attract modern audiences with new creative works in areas such as fiction, film, and computer games, which make use of medieval and/or early modern themes, characters, or plots. This is a call for papers or panels dealing with any aspect of medieval or Renaissance representation in popular culture. In particular, we would be interested in papers focusing on themes related to the notion of an anniversary, as this conference marks MAPACA’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Additional topics for this area include, but are not limited to the following:

-Modern portrayals of any aspect of Arthurian legends or Shakespeare

-Modern versions or adaptations of any other Medieval or Renaissance writer

-Modern investigations of historical figures such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Richards, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scotts

-Teaching medieval and Renaissance texts to modern students

-Medieval or Renaissance links to fantasy fiction, gaming, comics, video games, etc.


-Medieval or Renaissance Dramas

-The Middle Ages or Renaissance on the Internet

-Renaissance fairs


Panel and Workshop proposals are also welcome.

Submit a 250-word proposal including A/V requests along with a CV or brief bio by June 30, 2014to our online submissions form at

For further information, please contact:
Diana Vecchio
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Mary Behrman

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Co-Chairs Beowulf to Shakespeare


Proceedings of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2012-2013

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.192  Friday, 18 April 2014


From:        Sofia Novello <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 18, 2014 at 4:55:29 AM EDT

Subject:    Proceedings of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2012-2013


The British Institute of Florence is pleased to announce the online publication of the second volume of the Proceedings of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference on the theme Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: The Notion of Conflict (2012), The Italian Connection (2013). The volume, edited by the Coordinator of the Cultural Programme, Mark Roberts, is a selection of contributions of the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Graduate Conference. The volume can be read at


Sofia Novello

Library Assistant & Co-ordinator of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference

The British Institute of Florence

Palazzo Lanfredini

Lungarno Guicciardini 9

50125 Firenze


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H(app)y 450th Birthday

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.191  Thursday, 17 April 2014


From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:        Thursday, April 17, 2014

Subject:    H(app)y 450th Birthday


The Folger Shakespeare Library


H(app)y 450th birthday, Will Shakespeare! 


In celebration, The Folger Shakespeare Library is offering the Folger Luminary Shakespeare apps for just $2.99, through April 27. Enjoy Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream:


Folger Luminary Shakespeare Apps


Designed to make great plays accessible to all readers in a lively digital format, the Folger Luminary Shakespeare Apps are an interactive reading experience that enriches the Folger Shakespeare Editions—the gold standard in modern edited Shakespeare texts—with

  • Full audio recordings by professional actors produced by Folger Theatre
  • Expert commentaries from leading scholars, teachers, and performers
  • Illuminating images from the Folger collections and video
  • Robust authoring and sharing tools 

From solitary reading to generative thinking, from the classroom to the theater, Folger Luminary Shakespeare apps offer an interactive reading experience to enhance our pleasure and understanding of Shakespeare’s extraordinary works.


Upcoming Events at Globe Theatre

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.190  Thursday, 17 April 2014


From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Thursday, April 17, 2014

Subject:     Upcoming Events at Globe Theatre


Globe Theatre Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration: 21 April

Free Family Open Day

Monday 21 April

12 noon – 5.00pm (last admission 4.30pm)


To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday we invite you to join our free family open day, packed with fun activities, performances and special ticket offers.


Shakespeare’s Birthday is a great way to introduce children to the Globe and Shakespeare, or simply to visit us in party mode.


Following the theme of a traditional birthday party activities throughout the day include: a bouncy castle, face painting, Pin the Ruff on the Bard, cake decorating, pass the parcel, stilt performers, balloon animals, Punch and Judy shows and more. This is also an opportunity to visit the biggest exhibition dedicated to Shakespeare’s London, for free. (Normal adult price £13.50)


The event culminates with performances on the stage. We welcome back improvisational geniuses School of Night where “everything is created on the spur of the moment according to ideas and suggestions proffered by the audience.” There will also be scenes from Shakespeare performed and traditional balloon modellers. Is it your birthday on 21 April? Let us know and you might end up on the stage too.


Special Birthday Offer

From 21-27 April all yard (standing) tickets for performances throughout April will be available for a reduced price of 450 pence (normal price £5).  This celebratory offer is available in person or over the telephone. Please quote ‘Birthday offer’ (subject to availability).

Box Office : 0207 401 9919



Shakespeare at 450

Our first season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse celebrates the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.


The season opens with a stunning candlelit production of John Lyly’s witty and beautiful Galatea presented by the Edwards’ Boys from Shakespeare’s own grammar school.


Some of the world’s leading Shakespeare scholars tell us what the anniversary means to them in a series of exclusive Shakespeare at 450 Lectures, including this year’s Sam Wanamaker Fellow Jonathon Bate and previous Fellows Stanley Wells, Tiffany Stern, James Shapiro, Lisa Jardine, Andrew Gurr and Farah Karim-Cooper.


Read Not Dead celebrates its move into the Playhouse with an exceptional season including Jonson’s Every Man in His Humour in which Shakespeare originally acted, and the chance for you to choose the last reading of the season in a special public voting event.


David and Ben Crystal join us with a series of ground-breaking events in the Playhouse Exploring Original Pronunciation. Plus experience Macbeth as Shakespeare might have heard it in an extra special Read Not Dead coordinated by David and Ben Crystal, presented in original pronunciation and by candlelight.


This summer’s Study Days will satisfy the keenest of minds. Children and families can get involved in Story Days, and the sell-out Muse of Fire returns later this summer – with a twist in its tale.


Pre- and Post-show events illuminate the Globe Theatre season whilst the brand new Research in Action explores the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse inside and out with leading scholars and Globe Theatre artists: audience participation will be encouraged! 



Globe to Globe Hamlet will be the first production of the season, taking to the Globe stage on 23 April before beginning its two-year world tour. 


Opening on 24 April, Lucy Bailey’s hotly anticipated Titus Andronicus promises to utterly transform the Globe theatre. 


To celebrate Shakespeare's birthday we're visiting EVERY country in the world! Please back our project and be part of our journey.


The tour

On 23 April 2014 the Globe opens its most ambitious tour yet: a two-year tour of Hamlet that will visit every single country on earth. Sixteen extraordinary men and women will travel by boat, train, 4X4, tall ship, bus and aeroplane across the seven continents, performing in a huge range of unique and atmospheric venues – from village squares to national theatres, from palaces to beaches. 


The production is a fresh, pared-down version of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of deferred revenge. The company of twelve actors and four stage managers will use a completely portable set to stage a Hamlet that celebrates all the exuberance and invention of Shakespeare’s language in a brisk two hours and forty minutes. The production will be directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, designed by Jonathan Fensom and composed by Bill Barclay. Additional original music by Laura Forrest-Hay.


The role of Hamlet will be shared by Ladi Emeruwa and Naeem Hayat. All other male and female parts will be played in rotation by Keith Bartlett, John Dougall, Miranda Foster, Phoebe Fildes, Beruce Khan, Tom Lawrence, Jennifer Leong, Rawiri Paratene, Matthew Romain and Amanda Wilkin.



Titus Andronicus 

24 April - 13 July


Returning to Rome from a war against the Goths, the general Titus Andronicus brings with him the queen Tamora and her three sons as prisoners of war. Titus’ sacrifice of Tamora’s eldest son to appease the ghosts of his dead sons, and his decision to refuse to accept the title of emperor, initiates a terrible cycle of mutilation, rape and murder. And all _the while, at the centre of the nightmare, there moves the villainous, self-delighting Aaron.


Grotesquely violent and daringly experimental, Titus was the smash hit of Shakespeare’s early career, and is written with a ghoulish energy he was never to repeat elsewhere.


This production revisits Lucy Bailey’s spectacular Globe production of 2006


Shakespeare @LibertasU

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.185  Tuesday, 15 April 2014


From:        Jake Goldberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 15, 2014 at 1:42:02 PM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare @LibertasU


Shakespeare is back at LibertasU. Returning in our third semester will be John Alvis’ course: “Why is Shakespeare the Supreme Dramatist?. This course will examine three plays, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Henry V, and will put to test the hypothesis that Shakespeare seeks to understand human nature by confronting great men with fateful choices. John Alvis, a well-respected Shakespearean scholar and currently Professor of English at The University of Dallas.


“Why is Shakespeare the Supreme Dramatist? is a full, 7-week, online course. It starts on May 12th with classes to be held on Mondays from 7:00 pm to 8:50 pm Eastern time, with every class will featuring ample time for discussion. This course is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is interested in delving into Shakespeare but who, for any reason, is not able to attend a regular bricks and mortar institution.


Jake Goldberg


Talking with Biographer Stephen Grant about the Founders of the Folger Shakespeare Library

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.183  Wednesday, 10 April 2014


From:        John F Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 8, 2014 at 3:58:41 PM EDT

Subject:    Talking with Biographer Stephen Grant about the Founders of the Folger Shakespeare Library


Stephen H. Grant’s Collecting Shakespeare


Sunday, April 13, at 4:00 p.m.

921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Near DC’s Eastern Market

Free and Open to the Public


Many people are astonished to learn that the world’s largest repository of early Shakespeare editions is to be found, not in London or Stratford, but two blocks from the United States Capitol in Washington. How this came to be is the subject of a fascinating new book by Stephen H. Grant, who tells the story of Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger, who married in 1885 and devoted the rest of their lives to Collecting Shakespeare.


Henry was a close associate of John D. Rockefeller, and he eventually rose to the helm of the Standard Oil Company of New York. But the passion that most deeply obsessed a quiet, unassuming Brooklyn couple was not to become public until April 23, 1932, when President Hoover presided over a Capitol Hill ceremony at which the Folger Shakespeare Library was presented to the American people.


Copies of Mr. Grant’s long-anticipated biography of the Folgers will be on hand for purchase and inscription, and he’ll be available to sign them both before and after his conversation with John F. Andrews, who spent a decade (1974-84) as Director of Academic Programs at the Library.


Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early. For details about the venue, see or call 202-549-4172.


For more information about this and related Shakespeare Guild offerings, including Speaking of Shakespeare programs in Manhattan with Stephen H. Grant, with Yale scholar David Kastan, and with lexicographer Paul Dickson, in mid-May, see, visit, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Routledge Library Editions: Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.174  Monday, 7 April 2014


From:        Harriet Connor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 7, 2014 at 6:40:56 AM EDT

Subject:    Routledge Library Editions: Hamlet


Routledge Library Editions: Hamlet


Hardback: £280.00


27th November 2013


Reissuing works originally published between 1919 and 1988, Routledge Library Editions: Hamlet offers a selection of scholarship on the Shakespearean tragedy. Classic previously out-of-print works are brought back into print here in this small set of dramatic and literary criticism. Includes;


Form and Meaning in Drama: A Study of Six Greek Plays and of Hamlet

By H. D. F. Kitto


Shakespeare's “Hamlet” bound with The Problem of "Hamlet"

By A. Clutton-Brock, J. M. Robertson


Hamlet’s Fictions

By Maurice Charney


Hamlet: Critical Essays

Edited by Joseph G. Price


To view inside and learn more about these titles visit the series webpage at


To recommend the set to your librarian visit


CFP: Rome and Home: The Cultural Uses of Rome in Early Modern English Literature (EMLS Special Issue)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.169  Friday, 4 April 2014


From:        Daniel Cadman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 4, 2014 at 4:54:11 AM EDT

Subject:    CFP: Rome and Home: The Cultural Uses of Rome in Early Modern English Literature (EMLS Special Issue)


Rome and Home: The Cultural Uses of Rome in Early Modern English Literature


Ancient Rome had a pervasive hold over the early modern imagination and its influence can be discerned in a variety of sources, discourses, and practices during the period. Episodes from Roman history provided the inspiration for numerous plays and narrative poems, as well as offering an effective means of interrogating such political and philosophical positions as republicanism, absolutism and stoicism. Roman history also provided a host of good and bad exemplary figures, as well as highlighting the dangers of civil war and political factionalism. Roman authors like Seneca, Juvenal, Horace, and Terence also had a considerable influence on the development of various literary genres during the period and many historical and political works were influenced by both the style and content of such commentators as Cicero and Tacitus. The influence of ancient Rome also had a bearing upon English national identity. The myth of the translatio imperii, as promulgated in the histories of Geoffrey of Monmouth, was often appropriated in propaganda as a means of legitimising England’s imperial ambitions. James I also set out to refashion himself as an Augustan ruler whose iconography owed much to the resonance of imperial Rome.


This special issue will explore the influence of ancient Rome upon the literature and culture of early modern England and the related issues it provoked. We therefore welcome proposals for articles that consider any aspect of this subject; topics for discussion may include (but are not restricted to):


· Roman history as a narrative source in early modern drama, satire, and narrative poetry.

· Translation, rhetoric, and the influence of Latin.

· The influence of republicanism and stoicism and the bearings of Roman political ideas upon debates relating to sovereignty, citizenship, and absolutism.

· The relationship between ancient Rome and English (or British) national identity.

· The use of imagery associated with the Roman Empire in royal propaganda and iconography.

· The influence of Roman sources in debates relating to political factionalism and civil war.

· The resonance of Roman culture compared with the influence of ancient Greece.

· The links between Rome and Catholicism.


Please send abstracts (250-300 words) to Professor Lisa Hopkins (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Dr Daniel Cadman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or Dr Andrew Duxfield (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Friday 2 May 2014.


Global Shakespeare (with Warwick)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.165  Wednesday, 2 April 2014


From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 2, 2014 at 10:58:33 AM EDT

Subject:    Global Shakespeare (with Warwick)


Global Shakespeare (with University of Warwick)

Master of Arts (1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )




This is the only programme in the UK to focus on Shakespeare through the eyes of others. It allows you to form a critical perspective on Shakespeare as a global cultural phenomenon from Elizabethan England to the twenty-first century. You will examine the afterlife of his plays as they have been read, performed, adapted and translated not only linguistically but in performance practices, cultural contexts and various forms of new media across the world.


The programme combines theoretical, historical, performance and pedagogical approaches, with a strong digital and new-media component. You will be involved in developing cutting-edge methodologies for understanding Shakespeare as a product and catalyst of globalisation.


The Global Shakespeare MA provides a unique opportunity to experience postgraduate life with two world-leading institutions with strong expertise in the fields of Shakespeare, Renaissance studies, performance and Modern Languages- Queen Mary University of London (QML) and The University of Warwick. You will spend the first semester at QML, and spend time in the heart of London, accessing a wide variety of theatrical performances in venues such as the Globe, Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre and visiting the unrivaled museums, libraries and archives of the capital. The second semester, spent at the University of Warwick, will see you in close proximity to Stratford-upon-Avon with access to performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the outstanding research facilities of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.


On this programme you will:

  • Have access to the expertise and scholarship at both institutions
  • Benefit from webinars with established Shakespeareans across the globe such as Brazil, South Africa, Italy and China
  • Attend performances of Shakespeare at local theatres and engage with actors and directors in London and Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Learn academic journalism through editorial experience and reviewing on the new electronic journal – Global Shakespeare
  • Engage with local communities in exploring the significance of Shakespeare for them

This programme is ideal for graduates wishing to enter careers in academia, research, cultural organisations, theatres, teaching, publishing and new media.





The MA Global Shakespeare is available for one year full-time and two years part-time. You will spend semester one at QML and semester two at Warwick. You can choose at which institution you spend your dissertation period.


You will take four assessed modules before proceeding to a 15,000-word dissertation.


Part-time students take one module per semester, spreading the course over two years.



Assessed modules are taught in weekly two-hour seminars. In addition to these timetabled sessions, you will attend discussions and seminars on local Shakespeare productions and with visiting Shakespeareans from across the globe. You will be expected to attend meetings with your adviser and course tutor. The progress of your dissertation will be discussed in sessions with a designated supervisor. You will also need to undertake independent learning and research in order to progress at the required level.



Part-time students take one assessed module per semester. You are encouraged to begin work on your dissertation at the end of the first year. Teaching is generally done during the day.


Compulsory modules

At Queen Mary University of London:

  • Global Shakespeare: History and Theory and Performance

This module introduces you to historical, methodological and material dimensions of studying Shakespeare in a global context by a generic study and close reading of Shakespeare and his writing in a historical context, and an examination of the afterlife of his plays as they have been read, performed, adapted and translated both linguistically and through various media in a global context.


At the University of Warwick: Practices of Translation: Or How to Do Things with Shakespeare

This module focuses on the transformations of Shakespeare’s texts by a range of translational practices, in the broadest sense of the word. Offering you the chance to experiment with different models of translation it will allow you to develop your own models and practice as a “translator” of Shakespeare in relation to performance criticism, literary translation and active pedagogy, especially in relation to the ways in which Shakespeare has been 'translated' into languages, performance practices, cultural contexts and in the new media across the world.


Optional modules

You will choose two modules from a full list of options across varied disciplines such as English, Drama and Theatre, Modern Languages, History and Geography.


At QML options may include:

  • Global Interests in the Shakespearian World
  • Public and Private Cultures in Renaissance England
  • Post-colonialism Language and Identity
  • Early Modern Drama in Performance


At Warwick options may include:

  • Reviewing Shakespeare
  • World Literature and World Systems
  • Translation Studies in Theory and Practice
  • The Legacies of Caliban in Latin America and the Caribbean


For more information contact:

Anna Boneham

Executive Officer Global Shakespeare

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +44 (0)20 78826670


[EMLS] New Issue Published

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.154  Friday, 28 March 2014


From:        Daniel Cadman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         March 28, 2014 at 1:11:00 PM EDT

Subject:    [EMLS] New Issue Published


We are very pleased to announce that ‘Communities and Companionship in Early Modern Literature and Culture’, a new special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies, has now been published. The issue is now available to access from our website.


Thank you for your interest in our work.


Daniel Cadman

(on behalf of the editorial team)


Early Modern Literary Studies


Special Issue 22: Communities and Companionship in Early Modern Literature and Culture (2014)


Table of Contents





Bronwen Price,

Páraic Finnerty





‘More Women: More Weeping’: The Communal Lamentation of Early Modern Women in the Works of Mary Sidney Herbert and Mary Wroth

Marion Wynne-Davies


Drinking and Good Fellowship: Alehouse Communities, Gestures of Social

Self-Definition and the Anxiety of Social Displacement in the Broadside Ballad

Stella Achilleos


Seraphic Companions: The Friendship between Elizabeth Gauden and Simon Patrick

Cornelia Wilde


Falling in Love and Language: Earthly Companionship and Spiritual Loss in Paradise Lost

Rosamund Paice


Worlds within Worlds: Community, Companionship and Autonomy in Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World

Bronwen Price


Early Modern Literary Studies


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