Shakespeare in American Life

Overview

Shakespeare and American Life celebrates the extraordinary English poet's influence on American culture—whether high, low, or middlebrow—to mark the 150th anniversary of Henry Folger's birth and the 75th anniversary of the great library he and Emily created for Shakespearean scholarship. A sampler of such scholarship is here presented by nine essays that offer contexts for the multitude of images and objects on display in the Folger Library's Great Hall during the spring and summer of 2007, many of them—and a few...

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Overview

Shakespeare and American Life celebrates the extraordinary English poet's influence on American culture—whether high, low, or middlebrow—to mark the 150th anniversary of Henry Folger's birth and the 75th anniversary of the great library he and Emily created for Shakespearean scholarship. A sampler of such scholarship is here presented by nine essays that offer contexts for the multitude of images and objects on display in the Folger Library's Great Hall during the spring and summer of 2007, many of them—and a few additional images—reproduced in this catalogue. The essays explore Shakespeare's influence on America's cultural history from a variety of perspectives. Chronologically, they range from the colonial period, to the adoption of Shakespeare as an "American genius" in the nineteenth century, to twentieth-century musical comedy, film, theater, and finally to Shakespeare as we know him in twentyfirst century America. Culturally, the essays range from the academic (about editors and scholars), to the theatrical (Shakespeare's continuous presence on the American stage), to the popular (the appropriation of Shakespeare as a popular icon in advertising, folk art, and kitsch).

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This compilation of essays by nine prominent Shakespeare scholars includes a catalog of a recent exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, celebrating the library's 75th anniversary. Text and illustrations highlight the richness of the Folger collection, which informed most of the essays. Each essay examines an aspect of America's interest in Shakespeare from the Colonial era and illustrates Shakespeare's continuing influence on American popular culture. Topics include American Shakespeare films, black Shakespeare productions, and Shakespeare's influence on the American musical; a special piece focuses on Shakespeare-dedicated scrapbooks. The catalog includes 88 color illustrations as well as brief descriptions of each item in the exhibit. Several other texts cover Shakespeare's influence on American life-e.g., Kim C. Sturgess's Shakespeare in the American Nation-but none is as closely tied to the physical evidence of his influence. Recommended for public and academic libraries. [The Folger Shakespeare Library has also produced a three-hour NPR documentary and a web site in conjunction with the exhibit and book.-Ed.]
—Shana C. Fair

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295987156
  • Publisher: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,073,254
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   Gail Kern Paster     7
Introduction   Virginia Mason Vaughan   Alden T. Vaughan     8
Shakespeare Discovers America; America Discovers Shakespeare   Alden T. Vaughan     11
Making Shakespeare American: Shakespeare's Dissemination in Nineteenth-Century America   Virginia Mason Vaughan     23
Playing with (a) Difference: Early Black Shakespearean Actors, Blackface and Whiteface   Francesca T. Royster     35
Shakespeare Film in America: O Brave New World of Bardolatry!   Kenneth S. Rothwell     49
Shakespeare and the American Musical   Irene G. Dash     63
Jazzing Up Shakespeare   Douglas M. Lanier     77
American Shakespeare Festivals   Yu Jin Ko     89
Duty and Enjoyment: The Folgers as Shakespeare Collectors in the Gilded Age   Georgianna Ziegler     101
Catalogue of the Exhibition   Virginia Mason Vaughan   Alden T. Vaughan     113
Interlude: American Scrapbooks   Leigh Anne Palmer     145
Notes on Contributors     188
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