Tag Archives: Ben Jonson

Celebrating Ben Jonson’s First Folio

As well as being the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, 1616 is also a significant date for anyone interested in the theatre and writing of the period. Between 6 and 25 November 1616 Ben Jonson’s Workes was published, a monumental … Continue reading

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Ben Jonson, Shakespeare and Burbage: Volpone on stage

When Ben Jonson delivered his new comedy Volpone to the King’s Men in early 1606, Richard Burbage must have cheered. Jonson would have written the leading role with Burbage in mind, as Shakespeare also wrote roles for his most popular … Continue reading

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Not Shakespeare, and not Blackfriars

It’s always tempting to speculate on what might have happened if things had been different, and in the Artsnight programme Not Shakespeare, broadcast on 19 June Andrew Marr looked at the world of the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, and what … Continue reading

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Presenting Shakespeare’s Venice on stage

The RSC recently announced its Summer 2015 season, beginning in March. They’ll be focusing on the Italian city Venice, with three plays that are fully or partly set there: The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Ben Jonson’s Volpone. It’s sure … Continue reading

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Michael Drayton’s Poly-olbion

On 23 December 1631 the poet Michael Drayton died at his lodgings in Fleet Street, London. He was so highly regarded by his contemporaries that he was buried in Westminster Abbey with some ceremony. According to an account of his funeral, … Continue reading

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On the road: travelling and communicating with Shakespeare

Of all the times for it to happen, on the day Andy Murray won Wimbledon my broadband connection failed, finally coming back to life about half an hour after he raised that trophy. I was painfully aware, all day, of … Continue reading

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Travelling to Scotland: Ben Jonson and John Taylor’s journeys on foot

Many Shakespeare enthusiasts will know that Ben Jonson visited Scotland in 1618-19, after Shakespeare’s death. His aim was to visit some of his friends, and he spent Christmas with a poet, William Drummond, the Laird of Hawthornden, who recorded some … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s early reputation

Shakespeare is now so universally known, his reputation so unassailable, we naturally wonder how he was received during his own lifetime. Did his contemporaries realise that he would be remembered and celebrated centuries afterwards? This was the question, subtitled “What did … Continue reading

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The first English Olympic games

On 1 July the Olympic flame came through Stratford, passing over the ancient Clopton Bridge and past Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street before heading north. Earlier in the day it had passed though the beautiful Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. It … Continue reading

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Remembering Shakespeare at Yale

I know I’ve written about it before, but if you’re interested in the history of Shakespeare in print you really should take a look at the blog attached to Yale University’s current exhibition Remembering Shakespeare.  The University’s Beinecke Library contains … Continue reading

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