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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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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Happy Birthday to a Reverend Head

May 2 is the birthday of that great antiquarian, teacher, and scholar, William Camden (1551-1623), the man we can fairly give credit for the mind and career of Ben Jonson. Camden was the usher of The Westminster School when Jonson was a pupil there, and probably sponsored the bright bricklayer’s stepson as a scholarship boy. Camden took […]

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Happy May Day

“GET up, get up for shame, the blooming morn Upon her wings presents the god unshorn. See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air : Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see The dew bespangling herb and tree. Each flower has wept and bow’d toward the east Above an hour since : yet you […]

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