Tag Archives: British Library

Springtime in Stratford with Shakespeare and Chaucer

This year, 2017, the blossom trees in Stratford-upon-Avon seem to me to be even more glorious than ever, and Easter has come at just the right time to enjoy the spectacle at its finest. It always seems a pity that … Continue reading

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BBC taking Shakespeare on tour

The BBC is embracing Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary with a new project launching on Monday 21 March that focuses on the resources and stories of places all round Britain, using local BBC radio stations and the British Library. Shakespeare on Tour … Continue reading

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Last call for Magna Carta at the British Library

2015 has been the eight-hundredth anniversary of the great document Magna Carta, one of the world’s most famous documents, which is still controversial. Is it, as the British Library’s website asks, the “foundation of democracy or rallying cry for modern … Continue reading

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The sweet birds, O, how they sing!

Standing on the aptly-named Swallow Point, a promontory overlooking the Bristol Channel a week or so ago with some local birdwatchers, I was reminded what an exciting time this is for wildlife. They noted how many of the birds flying … Continue reading

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Shakespeare, King John and Magna Carta in 2015

Listening to Melvyn Bragg’s series on Radio 4 celebrating the history of Magna Carta, 800 this year, I realise how little I know about the document and the historical background to Shakespeare’s play King John. By the end of 2015 … Continue reading

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The Secret Life of Shakespeare’s First Folio

Shakespeare’s First Folio is back in the news again, with a documentary presented by actor Simon Russell Beale having been broadcast on 9 September. It’s part of the series The Secret Life of Books, a fascinating look at the process of creative … Continue reading

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Come, here is the map: Mercator at the British Library

Now available on the British Library’s Online Gallery of Virtual Books is the Mercator Map of Europe. You might assume from the name that it’s an early printed atlas, but this book is far more interesting than that. It was … Continue reading

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Shakespeare, medicine and science, 450 years on

A new book is just about to be published linking Shakespeare and science, a pairing that still doesn’t happen very often in the study of Shakespeare.  This is at least partly because scientific methods based on experimentation and logical enquiry were … Continue reading

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Safeguarding the “first rough draft of history”

Newspapers are a relatively new invention: no character in a Shakespeare play ever reads one, news being conveyed by messenger or letter. In The Merchant of Venice Tubal brings a personal account to Shylock of the misfortunes of Antonio’s ship “I … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the Georgians

2014, it seems, is going to be the year of the Georgians, with several different exhibitions looking at different aspects of life in the period covering 1714 to 1837. At the British Library there is an exhibition Georgians Revealed: Life, … Continue reading

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