Posts Categorized: Off-the-shelf


Richard III and disability: Excerpt – “Unfixable Forms” by Katherine Schaap Williams

What did Richard III and his disability represent to Shakespeare’s original audiences? And how has this Shakespeare villain shaped the field of early modern disability studies today? Katherine Schaap Williams takes a closer look at these questions in the below excerpt from her recently published book, Unfixable Forms: Disability, Performance, and the Early Modern English… Continue Reading »


Excerpt – “A Short History of Shakespeare in Performance” by Richard Schoch

How have directors sought to make Shakespeare productions relevant to contemporary political issues? What is it about these plays that makes them so politically resonant? Richard Schoch (Queen’s University Belfast) explores these questions in the excerpt below, taken from A Short History of Shakespeare in Performance, which was recently published as part of Cambridge University… Continue Reading »


Excerpt – “Ghosts, Holes, Rips and Scrapes: Shakespeare in 1619, Bibliography in the Longue Durée” by Zachary Lesser

What’s the most influential book for Shakespeare scholarship? The First Folio of 1623 immediately comes to mind for many. However, there’s another book, less famous but still incredibly important for Shakespeare scholars: Edward Gwynn’s set of Pavier Quartos, found in the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. Zachary Lesser takes a close look at the plays bound… Continue Reading »


Excerpt: ‘Irregular Unions’ by Katharine Cleland

Katharine Cleland examines Jessica and Lorenzo’s clandestine marriage in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” in this excerpt from her book “Irregular Unions.”


Better than laughing: Renaissance melancholy

The most famous book about Renaissance melancholy, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), celebrates its four hundredth anniversary this year. Though it was published five years after Shakespeare’s death, it gathers together ideas about melancholy from antiquity right through to the seventeenth century.


Excerpt: ‘Shakespeare and Lost Plays’ by David McInnis

When it comes to the theatrical landscape of Shakespeare’s London, there are the plays whose names we are familiar with — plays like Hamlet and Henry V — and then there are the plays that were being performed around the same time and that Shakespeare’s audiences would have known well, but that are lost to us today. Read an excerpt from a new book about these plays.


The Master of the Revels: Edmund Tilney

Author Nicole Galland gives Edmund Tilney, the Master of the Revels for Queen Elizabeth I, his proper due. She writes: “Because of Tilney, playwrights became more revered among the reading classes; because of Tilney, only certain playwrights’ works were greatly revered; because of Tilney, Shakespeare was chief among those playwrights. That he remains chief among playwrights is a testament to his genius, of course. But the fact that he was positioned to be recognized as such is largely due to Edmund Tilney.”