Category Archives: Shakespeare’s World

The John Webster #websterthon

  In June 2019 the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, is celebrating another of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, John Webster, in the seventh of their marathon playreadings. Webster’s canon is too compact for the three weeks of the event, and this year they … Continue reading

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Walking with Simon Armitage and Shakespeare

Congratulations to Simon Armitage, who was appointed Poet Laureate on 11 May 2019. It’s a strange job, nominally the official court poet, though these days it isn’t important to write new poems for royal occasions. It’s definitely an honour to … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and National Gardening Week

The first of May seems to have been one of Shakespeare’s favourite days. In Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice is compared with her cousin Hero : she “exceeds her as much in beauty as the first of May doth the … Continue reading

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Births, baptisms and burials

I wrote in 2014 about the documentary records of Shakespeare’s baptism at Holy Trinity Church on 26 April 1564. There’s a lot of confusion about the actual date of Shakespeare’s birth, but at the time it was the date of … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the Europeans in Italy

With the equinox now passed and spring firmly under way here in the UK it’s time to look forward to the warmth of the summer. How better than to celebrate it with the charity Shakespeare in Italy’s wonderful annual Summer … Continue reading

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Giving Emilia Lanier her own voice

In 1973, historian A L Rowse declared in Shakespeare the Man that he had solved the greatest mystery in Shakespeare’s life, the identity of the Dark Lady of the Sonnets. She was, he said, Emilia Lanier (Aemilia Lanyer). Rowse’s starting … Continue reading

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Ben Elton’s Shakespeares

Shakespeare seems to have haunted writer Ben Elton. He was always hovering in the background during Blackadder 2, the superb Elizabethan TV series. His current sitcom Upstart Crow, based around Shakespeare’s plays and life,  has had three series and he’s … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the strangers: Refugee Week

This week, 18-24 June 2018, has been Refugee Week in the UK . This is its twentieth year, timed to coincide with the worldwide Refugee Day, 20 June. The need to remember the plight of refugees is just as acute, … Continue reading

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Philip Massinger re-read: #MassiMara

It’s become a tradition now for the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon to spend most of June reading the surviving works of writers contemporary with Shakespeare. In 2018, beginning on 11 June, it’s the turn of Philip Massinger, one of the … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s spring

One of the greatest pleasures of spring in England is watching life returning over weeks or even months, beginning in gardens and parks with the blooming of snowdrops, moving on to daffodils, apple blossom and bluebells, to the mighty trees, … Continue reading

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