Richard Burton, Shakespeare, and the search for the source of the Nile

When European explorers first began traveling into the interior of the African continent, they brought Shakespeare with them. This excerpt from Shakespeare in Swahililand, written by Edward Wilson-Lee, relates the expedition of Richard Francis Burton and his search for the source of the Nile.


Misanthropes: Wyndham Lewis and Timon of Athens

Some of the most engrossing illustrations of Shakespeare’s rarely performed tragedy come from Wyndham Lewis, an early 20th-century artist who, like Timon, was a misanthrope.


Off the Shelf: A Shakespearean Botanical, The Battle of Agincourt, Year of the Fat Knight, and more

Here’s a round-up of Shakespeare-related books, fiction and nonfiction, that are on our must-read list. Ira’s Shakespeare Dream Glenda Armand (author), Floyd Cooper (illustrator) This story of famed African-American actor Ira Aldridge, who believed he could be a great Shakespearean if only he were given the chance, is an inspirational tale for children ages 7… 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 »


The Elizabethan Garden: 11 plants Shakespeare would have known well

The text for this blog post is adapted from an article in the Summer 2009 issue of Folger Magazine. Shakespeare, who grew up in a riverside country town and was the grandchild of prosperous farmers, refers with familiarity to an extraordinary number of plants (including many weeds), often using their folkloric names and alluding to their popular uses. What might be… Continue Reading »


Explore Shakespeare and world cinema, from China to Brazil

Can you imagine Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra transposed to rural India, where Antony becomes a cock fighter and Cleopatra a medicine woman? Or what about a Hamlet in the Himalayas, with the title character seeking forgiveness and reconciliation instead of revenge? Mark Thornton Burnett, a professor of English at Queen’s University Belfast, has done an extensive survey… Continue Reading »