Posts By: Esther French

Translating the Chinese classic ‘The Peony Pavilion’ with a ‘Shakespearean flavor’

Could Chinese literature be more popular with English-speaking audiences if translators favored words, phrases and poetic forms that spark associations with Shakespeare? This is the question being explored by Bikang Huang, who came to the Folger Shakespeare Library last summer on an artist-in-residence fellowship. The scholar from Peking University in China is scrutinizing common approaches… Continue Reading »



“The way to save wealth; showing how a man may live plentifully for two-pence a day”: A 17th-century guide to frugal living

A common New Year’s resolution is to save more money, and there are numerous personal-finance books and websites that offer step-by-step plans for spending less, whether out of present necessity or in the hope of reaching a future financial goal. Seeking tips and tricks to live more frugally is nothing new, of course. Thomas Tryon’s… Continue Reading »


Venus and Adonis: The classical myth that inspired Shakespeare’s epic poem and John Blow’s 17th-century opera

What many consider to be the earliest known English opera shares its mythological subject with Shakespeare’s most popular published work during his lifetime: the epic poem Venus and Adonis. Here we see great artists from different centuries using different art forms to make new creations from the same source material, putting their own mark on… Continue Reading »



Salvador Dalí and Shakespeare

See illustrations and costume designs by surrealist Salvador Dalí in the Folger Shakespeare Library collection for plays like “The Taming of the Shrew.”



Laurence Olivier, Henry V, and Shakespeare on film

Laurence Olivier’s film adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry V” during World War II was only the third Shakespeare film ever to receive Oscar recognition.