Posts By: Esther French


The First Folio tour comes to an end

A champagne toast welcomed the return of the last First Folio to the Folger, completing a national tour in which 18 of the Folger’s 82 First Folios traveled to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, in 2016. This traveling exhibition, First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, was a centerpiece of The Wonder… Continue Reading »


Quiz: How well do you know the endings of Shakespeare’s plays?

Challenge thyself! Test your Shakespeare knowledge and take this quiz. You may have gotten a perfect score on our quiz about first lines in Shakespeare plays, but how will you do with lines that come near the end of his plays?


The 5 most popular Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episodes of 2016: Othello, food, magic, religion, and the First Folio

1. Othello and Blackface This podcast episode, which deals with race, Othello, and how the Elizabethans portrayed blackness onstage, offers a startling, new interpretation of Desdemona’s handkerchief that is changing the way scholars understand the play. Our guests are Ayanna Thompson, Professor of English at George Washington University and a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of… Continue Reading »


The biggest Shakespeare stories of 2016

Let’s take a moment to revisit some of the biggest Shakespeare stories in the news this year, from the discoveries that grabbed headlines to the spectacular celebrations of the 400th anniversary to the celebrity performances that generated the most buzz. Discoveries and Scholarship Archaeologists have been busy this year. After taking hi-tech scans of Shakespeare’s… Continue Reading »


A year of Shakespeare #FolgerFinds on Instagram

The Folger is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection. We love mining this rich archive for gems, and on social media we often share collection items using #FolgerFinds. This blog post takes us through a year of Shakespeare #FolgerFinds on Instagram.


Five things to look for when you watch ‘The Winter’s Tale’

If you’re going to see a performance of The Winter’s Tale, perhaps you’ve read the play (or maybe just the plot summary)—or maybe you’re going in cold. So, what should you look for in this Shakespeare play? What should you pay particular attention to? We asked this question to directors at four of our theater partners across… Continue Reading »


America’s Shakespeare: The Bard goes west to Hollywood

Shakespeare has provided rich material for Hollywood’s film industry over the decades, from The Taming of the Shrew (1967) with Elizabeth Taylor to 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) with Julia Stiles. Given this, an exhibition about Shakespeare in America (and especially in California), such as the one on display at the Los Angeles… Continue Reading »


America’s Shakespeare: The Bard goes west to California’s Gold Rush mining camps

Theater was explosively popular in California’s Gold Rush era, and miners couldn’t get enough of Shakespeare. San Francisco and Sacramento had major theaters that were repeatedly burning down and being rebuilt almost immediately. Even the small gold-mining towns had stages or some kind of performance space. Actors followed the money, first to California, then traveling… Continue Reading »


How the First Folio tour came together

On a typical book tour, authors travel to read from their work, sign copies, and give talks. But what if the author has been dead for 400 years? During 2016, the Folger Shakespeare Library has been sending a copy of the First Folio, one of the world’s most important and influential books, to every state,… Continue Reading »