Blog

The Winter’s Tale: Class 3 of School of Night

November 17, 2014

The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s more obscure and baffling plays. The title alone needs justification: the plot spans sixteen years and settles mostly in springtime. But more peculiar: if Shakespeare is so “universal,” what possible relevance to anyone is the story of a disowned girl whose brother dies young and whose insanely jealous father is responsible for the trial and death of her mother?

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Rape of Lucrece – Class 2 of School of Night

November 8, 2014

Shakespeare’s “graver labour,” the follow-up long poem to mega-hit Venus and Adonis, is a strange piece indeed. Right after her horrific rape, Lucrece, Roman paragon of womanly virtue, takes a tour of the art on her own walls for about a tenth of the entire poem. What is Shakespeare saying about the relevance of “reading” art and applying it to one’s own circumstances and experiences?

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Michael Delahoyde invites you to School of Night

November 3, 2014

No tuition. No homework. No quizzes. No gym class! School begins Thursday, Nov 6. We would love to see you there! Register here.

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The Shakespeare Hoax: School of Night kicks off Nov 6

October 27, 2014

Join us in the School of Night for a free three-part online Shakespeare Studies class with WSU Professor Michael Delahoyde. Our first class is The Shakespeare Hoax. Register here!   The Shakespeare Hoax November 6 9 p.m. Eastern / 6 p.m. Pacific Why does each avenue into the historical and biographical study of the Stratford…

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Online Shakespeare Authorship Class – November 6, 13, & 20

October 16, 2014

Join Washington State University Professor of English Michael Delahoyde and The Shakespeare Underground on three evenings in November for School of Night, an interactive class. These live video webcasts will feature real-time discussion via chat and a Q&A session in which participants with webcams can appear onscreen and converse with the group. The Shakespeare Hoax…

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Did John Florio edit Shakespeare’s First Folio?

July 12, 2013

In an article published in today’s Guardian, Saul Frampton sets out a case that John Florio, Italian linguist and poet at the English court, may have anonymously played a role in producing the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays. Modern scholars agree that actors John Heminges and Henry Condell, traditionally considered the Folio’s assemblers, were unlikely…

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Jim Jarmusch and John Hurt bond over “Anti-Stratfordian” views

May 25, 2013

In a May 25, 2013 Festival de Cannes interview on Jim Jarmusch’s new film Only Lovers Left Alive, director Jarmusch and actor John Hurt engage in an impromtu discussion of the Shakespeare authorship mystery. The 3-minute digression begins when Hurt is asked about his role as a centuries-old vampire Christopher Marlowe: “Well, I’m here basically…

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Real People from Shakespeare’s History Plays on Pinterest

March 31, 2013

England’s Henry VI – weak king but successful ghost? Meet him (and others) on our new Pinterest board, Real People from Shakespeare’s History Plays.   King Henry VI (1421-1471). By age 1, Henry was King of England and France. A weak ruler who suffered incapacitating bouts of insanity, Henry was deposed twice. His power may…

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What is wrong with this picture?

January 16, 2013

  For centuries, questions and an aura of mystery have surrounded this portrait of William Shakespeare. The image appeared in the First Folio of 1623 and ever since, engraver Martin Droeshout has been castigated for this inept rendering. The slideshow above features criticism from dissatisfied, outraged — even suspicious — viewers. Hover your mouse over…

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Tracking ideas with Google Ngram Viewer

November 11, 2012

Curious about the popularity of ideas over time? (Or terms, or spelling variations?) Here’s a fun tracking tool to play with: The Google Ngram Viewer. It charts the yearly count of n-grams, which are defined as phrases, words, or letter combinations. The resulting graph is based on usage in the 5+million books digitized by Google…

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T-Pen Digital Transcription Tool

November 3, 2012

Independent scholarship gets another boost with the release of T-Pen. This web-based software enables crowdsourced transcription of digitized texts, while supporting a more accurate recording process. T-Pen’s transcription interface appears on the same screen as the manuscript page, and helps readability and tracking with fancy tricks like striping each line of the text. Transcriptions can…

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Elizabeth I Calendar of State Papers Online

October 24, 2012

Internet Archive/Open Library hosts several volumes of the Calendar of State Papers, Domestic. Edward VI, Mary, Elizabeth, and James I, 1547-1625. Features a beautifully designed user interface and excellent search capability.  

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Filming Shakespeare Webinar

October 23, 2012

Professors Russell Jackson and Stanley Wells look at Kenneth Branagh’s filmed Shakespeare adaptations in a webinar hosted by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Friday, October 26 4pm BST; 11am EST; 8am PDT Register here.

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Spectral Imaging Illuminates Damaged Manuscripts

August 11, 2012

Age-darkened and stained manuscript pages yield up their secrets to a historical imaging technique that uses different wavelengths of light to increase visual contrast. Spectral imaging can even reveal writing that has been “erased” – where a layer of vellum has been scraped off to provide a new writing surface. Greg Bearman and Ken Boydston…

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Online Tutorial for Reading Old English Handwriting

August 7, 2012

The U.K. National Archives hosts a fantastic resource for deciphering English handwriting from the 16th through the 19th centuries. This practical palaeography tutorial covers spelling, abbreviations, money, and important details about dates, such as Old Style vs. New Style: until 1572 (when the first day of the year fell on January 1), the year switched…

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