Up Close: A poll book from the 1710 election in London

Voting was not a secret process in early modern England. The poll book shown here published the names of all the voters in London and which candidates and party they voted for in 1710.


Roast joint of mutton: A recipe from ‘Fat Rascals’

John Tufts is an award-winning actor and the author of “Fat Rascals: Dining at Shakespeare’s Table,” a cookbook featuring over 150 authentic recipes straight out of Shakespeare’s plays. Here, he shares his recipe for a roast joint of mutton, inspired by a line from Henry IV, Part 2.


Dante vs. Shakespeare: An excerpt from ‘Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles’ by Harold Bloom

The excerpt begins: “Dante, poet and man, is obsessive. This is particularly true in the Latin meaning of the word: besiege or be besieged. Shakespeare’s protagonists sometimes are obsessive or besieged. Yet they can and do change. Leontes emerges from his madness. Prospero acknowledges Caliban, this thing of darkness, as his own. Falstaff dies, plucking at flowers and singing the twenty-third Psalm. Dante or Shakespeare? We need not choose. Who are we to choose? They choose us or pass us by.”


Where to Watch Shakespeare in October

There are a ton of places to watch Shakespeare in October, both online and in-person. Here’s what the Folger’s theater partners are up to this month.


Strange Shakespeare: Macbeth and the even weirder sisters

Shakespeare’s witches haven’t always terrified audiences. For a century and more – from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries – actors played these parts for laughs. During the period in which Shakespeare became “the Bard”, the witches in fact brought a large dose of comedy to Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy. The origins of this surprising, but long-lasting, stage interpretation go back to 1664.