A seventeenth-century manuscript that includes poetry by John Donne (written during his lifetime but not in his own hand) has been discovered at Melford Hall in Suffolk recently and is expected to realise an auction price of three hundred thousand pounds.
Records of Shakespeare’s father’s legal problem have recently been rediscovered at the National Archives (London). Their discoverer makes a case for their relevance to the representation of government power in Shakespeare’s plays.
George Lauder (1603-1670): Life and Writings by Prof. Alasdair MacDonald (our emeritus professor of English Language and Literature of the Middle Ages) has recently been published by Boydell & Brewer.
The Scottish poet George Lauder began as a “university wit”, by imitating anti-papal satires popular in the Italian Renaissance. He set off for London as a young man, looking for patronage, but instead became an officer in the army, seeing service in France, the Low Countries, Germany, Denmark and Sweden — an experience which provides the backdrop to the poetry of his mature years. At the Restoration he wrote a lengthy poem of advice to Charles II, and his final masterwork was a poetic conflation of the Gospel accounts of the life of Christ. Lauder was influenced by Ben Jonson, William Drummond, and by the Metaphysical and the Caroline styles. His personal library testifies to his wide range of interests, and to his acquaintance with European literature in neo-Latin and other languages.
This volume traces Lauder’s career, collects all his surviving verse (presented with full notes and commentary), and examines his interactions with certain of the greatest intellectuals of the Dutch Golden Age. Lauder was a British patriot and a loyal supporter of the House of Orange; above all, however, he is the author of a unique corpus of highly accomplished poetry.
On Monday 28 May at 21:30 (UK time) BBC 2 will broadcast their King Lear starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and others. Details here.
As the play had to be cut down to a little under two hours, the BBC version is expected to adapt the text considerably. The ageing Lear looks back nostalgically to a housekeeper he wanted to, but did not marry. In the consequent emotional turbulence he resolves to eat one of his daughters and a fool, and drink the blood of one of his sons-in-law. However, he cannot decide whom he should dine on first, and though it is clear that he should drink Burgundy, the culinary dilemma unhinges him.
Plagiarism software more commonly used to check student essays for overly assiduous borrowings has uncovered a long-forgotten, handwritten document from 1576 as the possible source for more than 20 monologues and passages from Shakespeare’s plays.
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is often regarded as the most controversial play The Bard has ever written. This is not peculiar: the tale of Italian merchant Antonio who signs a contract with the Jewish Shylock is riddled with antisemitic motives and questions the morality of the law. The Groningen University Theatre Society (GUTS) brings The Merchant of Venice to the Groningen stage in an authentic and completely English rendition.
In deze muzikale Shakespeare delen vijf topacteurs van Orkater het podium met vijf koperblazers van K.O.Brass!, bekend van Kyteman Orchestra. ‘Julius Caesar’ is een tragedie die zich afspeelt in het Romeinse rijk [note: I think that ‘rijk’ isn’t really accurate], waar het politieke spel op het scherp van de snede wordt gespeeld. Wanneer de Romeinse heerser de absolute macht in handen dreigt te krijgen, wordt Brutus op de proef gesteld. Wat weegt zwaarder: zijn vriendschap met Caesar of het voortbestaan van de democratie? Regisseur Michiel de Regt laat muziek, taal en beeld samensmelten in een voorstelling die haarfijn blootlegt hoe kleine mensen in staat zijn tot daden met grote gevolgen.