Posts Categorized: Folger-finds

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.


Up Close: An 18th-century caricature of the Shakespeare-forging William Henry Ireland and his family

This hand-colored caricature from 1797, “The Oaken Chest or the Gold Mines of Ireland, a Farce,” satirizes William Henry Ireland and his family in their forgery of the “Shakespeare Papers.” The print is full of delightful details that will make you chuckle. Get an up-close look and learn more about this Folger collection item by clicking through the arrows to see captions that zoom in on different parts of the image.


Up Close: A 1574 map of London

This 1574 hand-colored map of London and its surroundings shows us something of the London in which William Shakespeare lived and worked. Get an up-close look at the map and learn more about it by clicking through the arrows to see captions that zoom in on different parts of the image.



Up Close: Shakespeare’s First Folio

Get an up-close look at the title page of one of the Folger’s 82 First Folios and learn more about it by clicking through captions that zoom in on different parts of the page.



What were women reading? A dive into the Folger vault

Peer with me into the books left behind by women readers in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. What kind of books were they reading? What sort of notes did they write in them? What can we learn about their lives? Using the Folger’s online catalog, I’ve been able to identify hundreds of women from… Continue Reading »


The Folger Manuscript Book of Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea

The Folger’s outstanding collection is usually associated with Shakespeare and his contemporaries, but scholars who focus on women writers of Restoration and eighteenth-century literature know that the Folger holds the most important manuscript book of the works of poet and playwright Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661–1720). Admired by writers as different as Jonathan Swift,… Continue Reading »


Cursing Coriolanus and combating cornhoarders

In 1608, famine plagued England. Preachers responded with sermons begging the gentry to show compassion for the poor, King James I responded with royal proclamations against grain hoarding, and Shakespeare responded with Coriolanus, a Roman revenge-tragedy. Likely composed in 1608 and staged c. 1609-1610, Coriolanus opens with starving citizens storming the stage with rakes, pikes,… 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 »