Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond



Studying early modern women—in Shakespeare’s plays and in his time

By Esther Ferington The roles of early modern women in Shakespeare’s time—both the fictional characters in his plays and the real-life women of his era—have been central to many projects created by Georgianna Ziegler, Louis B. Thalheimer Associate Librarian and Head of Reference Emerita. Ziegler, who is also a co-founder of the Society for the… Continue Reading »



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 »


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 »


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 »


Shakespeare Live: Staging the plays outdoors

Whether they are produced under the stars, in the moonlight, by the sea, or in local parks, Shakespeare plays are performed outdoors throughout the United States every summer. Some aspects of modern theater would probably have surprised William Shakespeare, from electrical lighting to women acting onstage. The idea of performing his plays outdoors, however, would have seemed entirely routine. The plays that Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Reading ahead for “Will & Jane”

As you’ve seen on this blog already, the next Folger exhibition, Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity (August 6 to November 6), will be a fascinating look at the posthumous celebrities of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. In a blog post last month, the exhibition curators joined us to discuss Kate… Continue Reading »


A perfect pairing: A recipe for almond jumballs and a podcast episode on “Recipes for Thought”

Early modern kitchens, food, and recipes offer an intriguing window on the world in which Shakespeare lived. Our new Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode is a fascinating interview with Wendy Wall, who explores the role of food, kitchens, and other related subjects in her 2015 book Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen…. Continue Reading »


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