The publication of the First Folio in 1623 marks the proper beginning of Shakespeare’s works becoming widely known, read, and performed by successive generations, his reputation enduring 400 years after his death. [Read more…] about Explore Shakespeare’s first folio online
Ted Hughes’s will stipulates that there be no official biography of his life. Scholar Jonathan Bate worked with the Hughes’s estate for four years to create an account of a “literary life.” The result is Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life (Harper, October 2015). When the estate suddenly revoked its permission to quote freely from the archives, Bate challenged himself to find a way to continue his project. [Read more…] about Q & A with scholar Jonathan Bate
As part of the Ransom Center’s Poetry on the Plaza series, Claire Redcliffe from the touring Actors from the London Stage will present a dramatic reading of “Perchance to Dream,” an exploration of sleep and dreaming in poetry, at noon on Wednesday, October 14 on the Ransom Center plaza. [Read more…] about Q & A with actor Claire Redcliffe
James Shapiro, Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, discusses Shakespeare in America at 7 p.m. this Thursday, May 1, at the Harry Ransom Center. A reception and book signing follow, and books will be available for sale.
Shapiro’s newest work, Shakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now, explores Shakespeare’s role in American culture. The anthology, published by the Library of America in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday, comprises 71 pieces from American poets, politicians, essayists, novelists, and more. It includes works by Edgar Allan Poe, Woody Allen, Cole Porter, Isaac Asimov, and James Agee.
The anthology aims to show that, although America declared its independence from Great Britain, Americans have adapted Shakespeare for use in cultural expression. In a recent interview, Shapiro said, “American history tends to be represented in a kind of clear-cut, steady march. What became clear to me through this book is the uses—disturbing and exhilarating in equal measure—to which Shakespeare has been put. People have used Shakespeare as a means to make arguments that are not easily made or expressed in this country about race, gender, war, social justice, identity.” The full interview may be viewed in the above video.
The Ransom Center holds three copies of the Shakespeare First Folio and several quarto editions of the plays, along with prompt books, costume designs, and many other materials relating to productions of the plays from the eighteenth century to the modern era.