Measure for Measure + Dido and Aeneas: A Shakespeare-opera mash-up from 1699 takes the stage

Sometimes characterized as a “problem play,” Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure was first performed in the early 1600’s and was printed in the 1623 First Folio where it is listed as a comedy. During the Restoration, many of Shakespeare’s plays were adapted to suit the times, and Measure is no exception. Playwrights deleted problematic characters, moral complexities, and language that Restoration audiences would have found objectionable…. Continue Reading »


Repetition is celebrity: Shakespeare and Austen

As curators of Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity we both began our work in the archives with established interests in the connections between literary greatness and consumer culture. Janine has written about the marketing tactics and packaging of the earliest English novels as well as about modern book jackets, while… Continue Reading »


11 actors who have played Shakespeare and Austen roles

If you’re a fan of both Shakespeare and Jane Austen, you may have noticed some overlap in the actors who portray these classic roles in stage productions and film adaptations. As the curators of the Folger exhibition Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity write in considering Kate Beckinsale’s performances as Hero in Much… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare, in the original Klingon

Did you celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Star Trek episode last week? You’ll be happy to know that Star Trek has a place in the Folger collection! Like most libraries, the Folger has a collection development policy that helps us choose what materials to acquire; this makes sure that we use our budget… Continue Reading »


Quiz: Can you pair these Jane Austen and Shakespeare characters?

Take this quiz and test your knowledge of Jane Austen and Shakespeare! We give you a character from a Jane Austen novel, and you pick the corresponding character from Shakespeare’s plays, based on personality or storyline.


Will and Jane continued: adaptations, modernizations, and fan fiction

Although the Bard may have a longer history of such flattery, both Will and Jane have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous adaptations. In the 20th century, Austen joined Shakespeare in his entrance into modern media—film, television, and digital forms—as well as print spin-offs, fan fiction, radical modernizations, and even travesties. Beginning less than a… Continue Reading »


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