Posts Categorized: Shakespeare-unlimited

Shakespeare and early modern girlhood

The word “girl” means different things to us today than it meant in the Middle Ages, and Shakespeare was writing at a time when that meaning was changing, as Deanne Williams of York University in Toronto explains on a recent episode of Shakespeare Unlimited.   Williams talks about the girls in Shakespeare’s plays, how he portrays… Continue Reading »



Shakespeare’s First Folio: The playlist

Curious about the book that gave us Shakespeare? We’ve assembled a playlist of seven Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episodes about the First Folio. Without this first collected edition of Shakespeare’s works, published in 1623, we might not have such famous plays as Macbeth or The Tempest. To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, the… Continue Reading »


Balancing the body and consulting the heavens: Medicine in Shakespeare’s time

Few Elizabethans were wealthy enough to afford a licensed physician. Instead, they would rely on the knowledge of a local “wise woman,” with her home collection of remedy recipes and medicines. Or, they would send a description of their symptoms (along with a urine sample) to an “empiric,” who might cast an astrological horoscope. Broken bone? Call the barber-surgeon!… Continue Reading »


A perfect pairing: A recipe for almond jumballs and a podcast episode on “Recipes for Thought”

Early modern kitchens, food, and recipes offer an intriguing window on the world in which Shakespeare lived. Our new Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode is a fascinating interview with Wendy Wall, who explores the role of food, kitchens, and other related subjects in her 2015 book Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen…. Continue Reading »


Charlotte Cushman, an American star

As we celebrate Shakespeare in 2016, it’s also time to mark some other dates on the calendar. This Saturday, July 23, 2016, is the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Cushman’s birth. Cushman was among the finest and best-known American actresses of the 19th century and the first to achieve international fame. Cushman was well-known for playing male characters such… Continue Reading »


50 episodes and counting: Shakespeare Unlimited podcast explores race, imperialism, magic, music, Star Wars, and more

The Shakespeare Unlimited podcast connects Shakespeare and his plays with our world today through interviews with actors, directors, and scholars—but also with astronomers, a conservator, and a professional magician, among others. The 50th episode, which deals with race, Othello, and how the Elizabethans portrayed blackness onstage, offers a startling, new interpretation of Desdemona’s handkerchief that is… Continue Reading »


The perfect Shakespeare-inspired cocktails for summer: Juliet’s Emoji-to and Caliban’s Wrong Island Iced Tea from ‘Shakespeare, Not Stirred’

Mix your own drinks with recipes inspired by Shakespeare characters! Two professors combined their love of cocktails with their love of Shakespeare to create Shakespeare, Not Stirred: Cocktails for Your Everyday Dramas, a collection of recipes with names like “Kate’s Shrew-driver” and “Othello’s Green-eyed Monster”. And they playfully illustrated it with images from the Folger… Continue Reading »


Creating Shakespeare’s First Folio

Imagine a world without Macbeth, Twelfth Night, or Julius Caesar. We likely wouldn’t have half of Shakespeare’s plays without the First Folio. Who was responsible for making this book, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623? And how exactly was it put together? On this episode of Shakespeare Unlimited, we hear from Emma Smith,… Continue Reading »


A behind-the-scenes tour of the Folger conservation lab

Up on the third floor of the Folger Shakespeare Library, conservators work meticulously with rare books and other collection materials: preserving, repairing, preparing for display, and packaging for travel. Renate Mesmer, head of conservation, takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Werner Gundersheimer Conservation Laboratory for this Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode.