Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond

Excerpt: Culinary Shakespeare

Eating and drinking were of central importance to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Culinary Shakespeare, the first collection devoted solely to the study of food and drink in Shakespeare’s plays, reframes questions about cuisine, eating, and meals in early modern drama. Culinary Shakespeare, edited by David B. Goldstein and Amy L. Tigner, is available in a… Continue Reading »


The origins of the English history play – Excerpt: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War

What is the English history play? “A dramatic study of civil conflict in England,” writes David Bevington in this excerpt from the newly published Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War. “Above all, its purpose is to explore the causes, the struggles, the personal motivations of the major participants, and the means by which civil conflict… Continue Reading »


Excerpt: ‘Shakespearean’ by Robert McCrum

When Robert McCrum began his recovery from a life-changing stroke in the 1990s, he discovered that the only words that made sense to him were snatches of Shakespeare. The First Folio became an endless source of inspiration for “journeys of the mind.” This excerpt from his recent book “Shakespearean” is an ode to “Hamlet.”


Excerpt – Shakespeare and Forgetting – by Peter Holland

Shakespeare and Forgetting by Peter Holland considers how Shakespeare explores the concept of forgetting and how forgetting functions in performance. The excerpt below focuses on the character of Sir John Falstaff, who appears in several of Shakespeare’s plays. Why do multiple characters struggle to remember Falstaff’s name?


Folger Finds: A Shakespeare quilt

When you picture what’s in the Folger collection, many people imagine books and manuscripts from the early modern period — and we do have a lot of those! But the Folger also collects a variety of Shakespeare-related objects, including this quilt created in 1986: “Homage to Shakespeare ’With wonder great as my content’.”



The three most popular recipes from Before ‘Farm to Table’

With the Folger’s four-year Before ‘Farm to Table’ project drawing to a close, we’re revisiting three of the most popular early modern recipes adapted by the project team and shared on the Shakespeare & Beyond blog. Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, the inaugural project of the Mellon initiative in collaborative research,… Continue Reading »


Folger Finds: A carved oak casket for holding a Shakespeare First Folio

Imagine buying a book and having the queen of England give you a special case in which to store it! That’s what happened after wealthy heiress Angela Burdett-Coutts purchased a Shakespeare First Folio in 1864: Queen Victoria gave her a carved casket made from Herne’s Oak, a tree at Windsor that had been felled by… Continue Reading »



Five Folger Finds for beating the heat and cooling off this summer

Is the July heat getting to you? Here are five items from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection that are just right for summertime. 1. A 1699 guide to swimming “In the seventeenth century, swimming was viewed not so much as a recreational pastime but more as an exercise in self-discipline and a mechanical art through… Continue Reading »