Posts Categorized: Off-the-shelf

Emma Smith on Falstaff: An excerpt from ‘This Is Shakespeare’

Shakespeare scholar Emma Smith takes 20 chapters to discuss 20 different Shakespeare plays in her new book This Is Shakespeare, offering insights on key characters, plot twists, and performance challenges. The excerpt below, which focuses on the character of Falstaff and his physical description, comes from the chapter on 1 Henry IV, the play where… Continue Reading »





Excerpt – The Girl on the Balcony by Olivia Hussey

Read an excerpt from “The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo and Juliet,” a memoir by the star of Franco Zeffirelli’s classic film.



Excerpt – ‘Mad Blood Stirring’ by Simon Mayo

Inspired by a real-life episode, Simon Mayo’s novel ‘Mad Blood Stirring’ tells the powerful story of a Shakespeare production by African American prisoners of war at Dartmoor prison in England, near the end of the War of 1812.


Excerpt – ‘How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England’ by Ruth Goodman

From rudeness to gross behavior, Ruth Goodman’s book “How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England” sheds some surprising light on what bad behavior really meant, including the reason that Shakespeare had Sampson threaten to “bite my thumb” at another character in the first scene of “Romeo and Juliet.”