Arthur Murphy’s 18th-century collection of humor – Excerpt: “Laughing Histories” by Joy Wiltenburg

“Murphy may be the first person in history to subject laughter to such intensive and extensive study, at least from the perspective of a laughter professional,” writes Joy Wiltenburg about the 18th-century writer’s 500-page compilation of humor, in this excerpt from her book, “Laughing Histories.” Murphy’s commonplace book is part of the Folger collection.



Shakespeare Lines for Evil Laughter

We’re helping you prepare for DC Public Library’s Evil Laugh Contest with some deviously delightful Shakespeare lines you can use in your performance.


Birds of Shakespeare: The ring-necked pheasant

Artist Missy Dunaway explores references to the pheasant in “The Winter’s Tale” on her bird-watching expedition through Shakespeare’s works.