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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Jonson, Shakespeare, and Fathers

Ben Jonson was particularly interested in fatherhood, but most of his experiences were sad ones, not really appropriate for this day on which we celebrate our fathers. His most famous poem, surely, is his elegy for his eldest son, Benjamin, who died at the age of seven, while Ben was away visiting a wealthy patron […]

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The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire

May 11, 2013 Fifty years ago today, the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire took place in North Hollywood, CA. Born of the same creative energy that spawned many other artifacts of the Sixties, the event was initially a project begun by teacher/artists Phyllis and Ron Patterson, designed to enhance arts and performance education in their community. […]

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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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Bess of Hardwick

The letters of Elizabeth Talbot (c.1521-1608), known historically as “Bess of Hardwick,” have just been made available as a searchable database. This is a treasure trove of domestic history and an insight into the life of probably the most influential non-royal woman of her time. She was the matriarch of a powerful dynasty that produced […]

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