Tastes of the Mediterranean: Italian food before Italy

Italian regions share a culinary history that is rooted in the ingredients, tastes, and techniques that came out of early-modern innovations, explorations, and cultural movements.


Seed cake inspired by Thomas Tusser

See a 17th-century recipe for seed cake inspired by the farmer poet Thomas Tusser. Ingredients include rosewater, caraway seeds, and sherry.


Play on! Yvette Nolan on translating ‘Henry IV, Part 1’

If you’ve been following the Shakespeare & Beyond blog, you’ll know that the Folger has been doing a monthly series of Q&As with some of the playwrights and dramaturgs involved with Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play on! project to translate all of Shakespeare’s plays into contemporary English. This month’s post breaks out of the typical Q&A… Continue Reading »



Celebrating 100 episodes of Shakespeare Unlimited

Today, we’re releasing the 100th episode of our podcast, Shakespeare Unlimited. Since 2015, when we kicked things off with an episode about Nelson Mandela and the Robben Island Shakespeare, we’ve met the people who answer letters to Juliet, chatted with rappers (on more than one occasion), explored the complicated intersections of Shakespeare and race, and much, much more…. Continue Reading »


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 »