It’s hard to be the Bard – but why?

Judging by the songs available on YouTube, the Broadway musical Something Rotten strikes an interesting balance between propagating familiar pop-cultural myths about the early modern period and unpicking some of those assumptions through playful anachronism. The opening number, for example, welcomes us to ‘the Renaissance/Where everything is new’: far from a transitional period still processing and remaking its … More It’s hard to be the Bard – but why?

Found Poem

The lines of the following poem are all subheadings introducing quotes for the term ‘Love’ in an 1884 book: The Student’s Topical Shakespeare: Thirty-Seven Plays, Analyzed and Topically Arranged for the Use of Clergymen, Lawyers, Students, Etc. Love Its absurd Vows Its Avowal Desired Its bewildering Power Its bewitching Tyranny Its Conquests Its contradictory Character … More Found Poem

Nell Gwynn, John Dryden, and the Restoration of Theatrical History

Does anybody care what I want to write? — John Dryden No! — The rest of the King’s Company Hooray for Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn, now playing at the Globe. As well as being a sprightly, engaging feminist reclamation of Restoration theatre history, it’s also the only play I’ve ever encountered where all roads of narrative fulfilment … More Nell Gwynn, John Dryden, and the Restoration of Theatrical History

Jonathan Strange and the Friends of English Verse Drama

This article was originally published by Blogging Shakespeare.  ‘This other magic, it will not do, sir.’ – Gilbert Norrell ‘But Shakespear’s Magick could not copy’d be, Within that Circle none durst walk but he.’ – John Dryden It’s entirely possible that my thesis is giving me tunnel vision, but the way characters discuss the ‘wild, cruel, … More Jonathan Strange and the Friends of English Verse Drama