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Gordon McMullan is Professor of English at King's College London and a director of the London Shakespeare Centre.
Zoe Wilcox is Lead Curator at the British Library for the Shakespeare and performance exhibition which this book accompanies.
Four hundred years after Shakespeare's death, it is difficult to imagine a time when he was not considered a genius. But those 400 years have seen his plays banished and bowdlerized, faked and forged, traded and translated, re-mixed and re-cast. Shakespeare's story is not one of a steady rise to fame; it is a tale of set-backs and sea-changes that have made him the cultural icon he is today. This revealing new book accompanies an innovative exhibition at the British Library that will take readers on a journey through more than 400 years of performance. It will focus on ten moments in history that have changed the way we see Shakespeare, from the very first production of Hamlet to a digital-age deconstruction. Each performance holds up a mirror to the era in which it was performed. The first stage appearance by a woman in 1660 and a black actor playing Othello in 1825 were landmarks for society as well as for Shakespeare's reputation. The book will also explore productions as diverse as Peter Brook's legendary A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mark Rylance's 'Original Practices' Twelfth Night, and a Shakespeare forgery staged at Drury Lane in 1796, among many others.Over 100 illustrations include the only surviving playscript in Shakespeare's hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, and rare printed editions including the First Folio. These - and other treasures from the British Library's manuscript and rare book collections - will feature alongside film stills, costumes, paintings and production photographs.In this book ten leading experts take a fresh look at Shakespeare, reminding us that the playwright's iconic status has been constructed over the centuries in a process that continues across the world today.
Despite a recent surge of critical interest in the Shakespeare Tercentenary, a great deal has been forgotten about this key moment in the history of the place of Shakespeare in national and global culture - much more than has been remembered. This book offers new archival discoveries about, and new interpretations of, the Tercentenary celebrations in Britain, Australia and New Zealand and reflects on the long legacy of those celebrations. This collection gathers together five scholars from Britain, Australia and New Zealand to reflect on the modes of commemoration of Shakespeare across the hemispheres in and after the Tercentenary year, 1916. It was at this moment of remembering in 1916 that `global Shakespeare' first emerged in recognizable form. Each contributor performs their own `antipodal' reading, assessing in parallel events across two hemispheres, geographically opposite but politically and culturally connected in the wake of empire.
Women Making Shakespeare presents a series of 20-25 short essays that draw on a variety of resources, including interviews with directors, actors, and other performance practitioners, to explore the place (or constitutive absence) of women in the Shakespearean text and in the history of Shakespearean reception - the many ways women, working individually or in communities, have shaped and transformed the reception, performance, and teaching of Shakespeare from the 17th century to the present. The book highlights the essential role Shakespeare's texts have played in the historical development of feminism. Rather than a traditional collection of essays, Women Making Shakespeare brings together materials from diverse resources and uses diverse research methods to create something new and transformative. Among the many women's interactions with Shakespeare to be considered are acting (whether on the professional stage, in film, on lecture tours, or in staged readings), editing, teaching, academic writing, and recycling through adaptations and appropriations (film, novels, poems, plays, visual arts).
Renaissance Configurations is a ground-breaking collection of essays on the structures and strategies of Early Modern culture - as embodied in issues of gender, sexuality and politics - by a group of critics from the new generation of Early Modern specialists. The essays focus on the relations of public and private, of verbal and spatial, of textual and material, reading and re-reading texts, both canonical and non-canonical, with a textual and historical rigour often considered lacking in work with theoretical premises. The collection as a whole offers a clear sense of the direction to be taken by Early Modern studies over the next decade.