Tag Archives: British Library

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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Open access and going digital in 2013

Looking back over 2013, there’s been a noticeable increase in Libraries, Museums and Archives making their digital collections available online. Organisations have been digitising their collections for years, and no wonder, since this potentially increases access to collections while simultaneously … Continue reading

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Shakespeare on the golf course

Golf may be one of the oldest of games, but it doesn’t seem to have been Shakespeare’s favourite as he never mentions it directly. He just might have played a few shots though: Mary, Queen of Scots, for one, is thought … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s world view: the history of maps

It’s hard, indeed impossible, for us to imagine what it would be like to live without a clear idea of the world outside our own immediate locality. But many people of Shakespeare’s period might never have seen what we would … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s blasts of January

When icicles hang by the wall And Dick the shepherd blows his nail And Tom bears logs into the hall And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring … Continue reading

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