"an exhibition whose range and detail may not be soon equaled" New York Times March 22, 2012

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Remembering Shakespeare: A daily exhibition blog



It is only to be expected that when Thomas Dowse, like other readers in late sixteenth century England, remembered his Shakespeare, it was in the midst of other distractions. Inside one of his books, he signed his name – “Thomas … Continue reading

The title-page of the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s works, published in 1623, seven years after his death.  “Reader, looke / Not on his Picture, but his Booke,” reads Ben Jonson’s dedicatory verse.  A reader can be seen doing his sums on the page above.  Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, histories, & tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies (London, 1623).  Beinecke Library, Yale University


“Remembering Shakespeare” draws on the collections of Yale University to tell the story – the often contradictory, always elusive story – of how Shakespeare was remembered over successive generations from his time to our own. “Reader, looke / Not on … Continue reading



Texts, however, were only one medium by which Shakespeare was remembered. As editors from the early seventeenth century onwards continued in their efforts to re-member a more satisfying, a more marketable Shakespearean corpus, Shakespeare was also scripted on an urban … Continue reading

Shakespeare’s memorial in Stratford-on-Avon, included in William Dugdale’s The antiquities of Warwickshire illustrated (London, 1656).  Beinecke Library, Yale University


But if Jonson, in his dedicatory verse to the First Folio, summoned his readers to the “Booke,” a “Booke,” of Shakespeare, and architects and builders drew audiences to various versions of "Shakespeare's" Globe, others sought and found his memory elsewhere. … Continue reading

Annotations and corrections to Pope’s edition of Shakespeare by a scholar at Cambridge, Styan Thirlby.  Thirlby offered his notes and assistance to his colleague, Lewis Theobald, whose edition of Shakespeare continued the rivalry between him and Pope.  Beinecke Library, Yale University


By the early nineteenth century, while a reader might search for an authoritative Shakespeare among editions by Jaggard, by Pavier, by Alexander Pope, Lewis Theobald, and Samuel Johnson, a spectacularly entertaining Shakespeare could also be found amidst the music and … Continue reading

Sheet music to Cole Porter’s “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” from the 1949 musical Kiss Me Kate.  “Brush up your Shakespeare and they’ll all kow-tow,” Porter recommended.  Beinecke Library, Yale University


But when, in 1949, Cole Porter recommended that his audience “brush up your Shakespeare and we’ll all kowtow,” it wasn’t such a very different Shakespeare that he had in mind. The wartime Shakespeare was as canonical, as culturally charged, as … Continue reading