A mulberry tree and other Shakespeare bindings

By Esther Ferington Among the curious items in the Will & Jane exhibition is a 19th-century edition of Shakespeare’s works in an unusual binding. A small frame in the binding’s front cover encloses a piece of wood, described in an inscription as “Part of the Mulberry Tree Planted by Wm. Shakespeare.” Needless to say, no… Continue Reading »

How to counteract the curse of Macbeth (er, The Scottish Play)

Don’t say “Macbeth” in a theater, or you’ll be cursed. Or at least that’s how the old superstition goes. That’s why you’ll often hear actors refer to it as “The Scottish Play.” It’s one of many stories connected with the performance history of Shakespeare plays through the years. These kind of theatrical anecdotes are the focus of… Continue Reading »

7 ideas for a Shakespeare-themed Halloween costume

We’ve got seven great ideas for Shakespeare-themed Halloween costumes. 1. The Gravedigger from Hamlet Yes, you could go as Hamlet himself and carry a skull around all night. Or you could go as the Gravedigger and carry a shovel around all night. The choice is clear. 2. Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream This Halloween… Continue Reading »

Summer memories from the First Folio tour: Ohio, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” It may be October, but we’re feeling a little nostalgic for all the places our First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare touring exhibition traveled this summer. See a few social media highlights from the Cleveland Public Library, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Alaska State Libraries,… Continue Reading »

VIP visitors and rare works: Salman Rushdie, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more

By Esther Ferington A vital role that the Folger Shakespeare Library plays is to bring people together with materials from Shakespeare’s world, whether through exhibitions, digital content, or special tours. As you’ll see, some famous visitors have brought that notion to life in an unusual way. Located in Washington, DC, the Folger has found in… Continue Reading »

What turns a good writer into a superstar? 200 years and plenty of spectacle

In commemoration of the approximate 200th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, the London actor and theatrical entrepreneur David Garrick launched the first celebration of Shakespeare as “the god of our idolatry” in 1769, helping to fashion the Bard as the larger-than-life, iconic representation of English literary achievement. The events that Garrick planned on the sacred site… Continue Reading »

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