Will and Jane continued: adaptations, modernizations, and fan fiction

Although the Bard may have a longer history of such flattery, both Will and Jane have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous adaptations. In the 20th century, Austen joined Shakespeare in his entrance into modern media—film, television, and digital forms—as well as print spin-offs, fan fiction, radical modernizations, and even travesties. Beginning less than a… 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 »



Which Shakespeare plays are most often taught in high school English classes?

Think back to your high school English classes. Did you read Romeo and Juliet as a freshman? What about Hamlet in your senior year? Studying Shakespeare is required in the Common Core English Language Arts standards, but the Bard secured his place on the English curriculum in American classrooms long before the Common Core was established. As Jonathan Burton… Continue Reading »


Collecting Will and Jane

One of the stories told by the current exhibition Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity is that literary renown is as much about commodities as about books. Literary celebrity transforms authors into objects. Our exhibition traces this commodification to the eighteenth century, when Shakespeare (like Austen now) was at the 200-year… 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 »