Tag Archives: featured

Henry Folger’s Brigg Umbrella with Concealed Pencil

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC contains not only Shakespearean treasures of every sort and size but various items belonging to its founders. Henry Folger ordered two racing umbrellas from the company founded in London in 1836 by Thomas Brigg as “Brigg and Sons.” The Folgers would have custom-ordered the umbrellas in London. The […]

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Folger Shakespeare Library

From Bangs to Maggs: Folger Fourth Folios

In 1889, 10 years after he graduated from Amherst College and 84 years before I did, Henry Folger walked “with fear and trepidation” into the foremost book auction house in America, Bangs and Co. on 91 Fifth Avenue. A large, thick volume caught his eye and changed his life forever. For the first time, he […]

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Programme Name: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - TX: n/a - Episode: Ep4 (No. 4) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Jonathan Strange (BERTIE CARVEL), Mr Norrell (EDDIE MARSAN) - (C) JSMN Ltd - Photographer: Matt Squire

Jonathan Strange and the Friends of English Verse Drama

 ‘This other magic, it will not do, sir.’ – Gilbert Norrell ‘But Shakespear’s Magick could not copy’d be, Within that Circle none durst walk but he.’ – John Dryden It’s entirely possible that my thesis is giving me tunnel vision, but the way characters discuss the ‘wild, cruel, medieval’ magic of the Raven King in […]

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Venice2010 143

The Shylock Project

by Shaul Bassi This summer scholars, actors, students will spend four weeks on a Venetian island with an ambitious goal, that of preparing the first ever promenade production of The Merchant of Venice in the Jewish Ghetto. Two landmark anniversaries will coincide in 2016: the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and the 500th anniversary […]

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Verse Drama Now #1: Speaking the Speech

As Christopher Marlowe anachronistically says in Anonymous, six years after his historical death: ‘It’s difficult to write, isn’t it? After watching something like Hamlet. It eats at you – at your soul…’ And it’s especially difficult to write a verse play. I’m a PhD researcher at the Shakespeare Institute looking at the history of verse […]

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Published 23 April 2015

Why Shakespeare Still Matters

Shakespeare has mattered ever since his name first appeared in print in 1593 with his erotic and entertaining poem, Venus and Adonis. He was 29 years old. For much of the poem the goddess of love is naked and begging for sex before Adonis, but he resists her advances. Venus and Adonis was a sensation […]

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Folger Archives Box 42

British Captain John Robinson and the Henry Folgers

  Rosy-cheeked white-bearded poet, painter, and shipmaster Captain John Robinson of Watford, Hertfordshire was a commanding presence on the bridge of the steamship Minnehaha from 1900 until he retired from the American-owned Atlantic Transport Line due to poor eyesight in 1907. His seafaring career spanned a half-century, starting as cabin boy at a shilling a […]

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Henry Folger’s British-Born Vicar, S. Parkes Cadman

Rev. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman is high on the list of notables born in the town of Wellington, Shropshire in the West Midlands. After having worked ten years as a coal miner and become a Methodist minister, he immigrated to the United States in 1890 at the age of 26. A clergyman with great oratorical […]

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A Shakespeare Folio

Sidney Lee, Henry Folger, and the First Folio

Sidney Lee né Solomon Lazarus Lee in London in 1859 was a biographer and Shakespearean scholar. He edited the Dictionary of National Biography to which he contributed over 800 articles. He wrote a biography of Shakespeare in 1898. We Americans remember that he delivered lectures on “Foreign Influences in English Literature” at Johns Hopkins University […]

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