All the World in a Fair

The Four and Twentieth of August! Bartholmew-day! Bartholmew upon Bartholmew! there’s the Device! who would have mark’d such a Leap-Frog Chance now? When John Little-wit, Ben Jonson’s would-be playwright whose day-job is law-clerking, discovers that a client named Bartholomew Cokes plans to get betrothed in Bartholomew Fair, on the feast day of St. Bartholomew (August 24), he delights in […]

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Shakespeare, Updated

There has been a lot of reaction, good and bad, to the news that the Hogarth Press, an imprint of Random House, plans to commission bestselling authors to write novels based on and updating Shakespeare’s plays. The project has a noble purpose – to honor the upcoming 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 1616 […]

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King of Players, Player of Kings

Today is the birthday (in 1566) of James VI & I of Scotland and England. Although Shakespeare and Jonson are classified as Elizabethan poets, it was under the reign of James, and under his personal patronage, that they both did their greatest work. James called himself  “The Cradle King,” quite accurately, because he took over […]

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Happy Birthday, dear Ben

Benjamin Jonson was born on this date in 1572 in Westminster, England. We are so fortunate to have had a new biography and a new edition of his complete works appear in the last year; perhaps at last he will have a place in the popular imagination equal, if not to Shakespeare’s, at least to his […]

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I know where I want to go next year

If only for the chance to see Early Modern Drama played by candlelight, this is a consummation devoutly to be wish’d: Ten Reasons to Get Excited About the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

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