Archive for January, 2015


Cardiff libraries: a Council dispossesses its people

January 28, 2015

Important blog post by Andrew Green on libraries in Cardiff:

“Cardiff is a thriving place. Big new developments are announced almost monthly. Recent ones include the new BBC Cymru Wales building near the station, the electrification of the Valleys railway lines and the massive Embankment complex. But while the Council pours resources into stimulating and supporting commercial growth, it leaves some of its basic public services to rot.

On Saturday 7 February, National Libraries Day, hundreds of people plan to converge on the Central Library in Cardiff for a ‘read in’, to protest against the Council’s intention to cease funding seven of the city’s libraries and further degrade the Central Library.

The branch libraries could close or be handed over to ‘the community’. They include some that are used by hundreds of people a week, like Whitchurch, a building I visited a couple of weeks ago (it was closed: Cardiff assumes people don’t read on Wednesdays). Cathays Library, one of the finest Carnegie library buildings in Britain, is to be handed over, to anyone, ‘community’ or private, who will take it, as a ‘café library’, presumably a standard Starbucks with a couple of bookshelves…”

Read the rest here.


CFP Shakespeare BritGrad 2015

January 21, 2015

britgrad_black4-6 June 2015

The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

“We invite graduate students with interests in Shakespeare, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies to join us in June for the Seventeenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference.

This interdisciplinary conference, celebrating its seventeenth anniversary in 2015, provides a friendly and stimulating academic forum in which graduate students from all over the world can present their research on Shakespeare, the Early Modern period, or the Renaissance. In accordance with the Shakespeare Institute’s emerging reputation as a place for creative criticism, we also encourage creative responses.  The conference takes place in an active centre of Shakespeare and Early Modern scholarship in Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are also invited to attend the conference as auditors.

Plenary speakers include Chris Laoutaris (University of Birmingham), Laurie Maguire (University of Oxford), and Andy Kesson (University of Roehampton). See our blog for information on plenary speakers as they are confirmed. Delegates will also have the opportunity to attend the RSC production of Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan (Much Ado ’12), and starring Hugh Quarshie (Faust, Julius Caesar ’96) and Lucian Msamati (Pericles ’06) at a group-booking price. Lunch will be provided on each day, and we will be hosting a party and a reception for the delegates.

We invite abstracts of up to 200 words for papers twenty minutes in length on subjects relating to Shakespeare, Early Modern, and/or Renaissance studies. More creative forms of criticism, including original writing, may be submitted, also requiring a 200 word abstract.  We welcome papers from a wide variety of disciplines, from literature to art history and beyond.  Delegates wishing to give papers must register by 23 April 2015.  (Abstracts cannot be considered until the delegate has registered.)  Auditors are encouraged to register by 21 May 2015 for early-bird pricing. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.

For more information, find us on Facebook, on Twitter, and at, or email

[Download this CFP here.]”

Call for Papers.


A Year in Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona

January 20, 2015


“After reading The Tempest in the RSC’s modern edition of the First Folio, I decided to do something different with Two Gentlemen of Verona and read it in the oldest edition Cardiff University Library still kept on loan. After a few minutes browsing the dustiest and least regarded avenues of Shakespeare Criticism, I found myself holding a 122 year-old edition published in 1893 as part of the original Cambridge Shakespeare series.” – Thomas Tyrrell


Read more here:

A Year in Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona



Clwyd Theatr Cymru: Hamlet (in Cardiff)

January 13, 2015


Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 March 2015

Evenings 7.30pm
Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday Matinees 2.30pm

By William Shakespeare
Director Terry Hands
Designer Mark Bailey
Composer Colin Towns

 “… to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them.”

Making their annual visit to the New Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru presents Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Directed by the company’s Artistic Director and Director Emeritus of the RSC, Terry Hands, this new production will once again showcase the finest in Welsh acting talent.

A psychological thriller, murder mystery, philosophical drama – Shakespeare’s most famous play.

Find out more here.



William Shakespeare – Dramen und Apokryphen

January 11, 2015

Notice of a new book sharing the brilliant Shakespeare portrait:


Hartmut Ilsemann. William Shakespeare – Dramen und Apokryphen: Eine stilometrische Untersuchung mit R. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2014, ISBN:
978-3-8440-3096-9, 355 pages, in German.

Find out more here.

R stylo, a suite of stylometric tools, was used to analyse the so called Shakespeare apocrypha, a body of Renaissance plays that have been attributed to Shakespeare in part or in toto, but whose authorship has never been proven or refuted convincingly. As R is quite new and embodies a combination of powerful procedures and functions the various methodological approaches were tested simultaneously to make sure that results complied with criteria like evidence and plausibility. In the past many stylometric investigations relied on the relative frequency of function words, and PCA and multivariate analyses made use of larger textual units which were very often the products of collaborative efforts of playwrights. R has the capacity to differentiate between authors even within smaller text units using the rolling delta procedure and its features. The overall result is that a large number of apocryphal plays are indeed Shakespeare’s, and many of the plays that make up the Shakespeare canon represent the last stage of a long and complicated process of rewriting and revising, finally concluded by Heminges and Condell in 1623. The first drafts are shorter and simpler in their plot construction. Many refer to the Queen’s Players, a troupe of actors that dominated the 1580s and dissolved around 1591. There is good reason to believe that Shakespeare served his apprenticeship in the mid 1580s as a playwright with colleagues like Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, George Peele, Thomas Nashe and Samuel Rowley, a prolific writer who is scarcely mentioned in secondary literature, but whose stylistic features can be found in an astounding number of plays. Among the plays that were later given a prominent position and a new name within the canon are The True Tragedy of Richard III (Richard III), The Taming of a Shrew (The Shrew), The Troublesome Reign of King John (King John), King Leir (King Lear) and The Famous Victories of Henry V (Henry V). Shakespeare also wrote Fair Em, Edward III, and had a fair share in a number of additional plays like Edmund Ironside, and Mucedorus. Sir Thomas More, Sir John Oldcastle, and Thomas Lord Cromwell all contain Shakespearian contributions and show traces of early compositions and later revisions and additions. The first part of Richard II, also known as Thomas of Woodstock, was written by Samuel Rowley. Only act five is by Shakespeare, which explains Marlowe signals in Richard II. Shakespeare apparently used archive material that Marlowe and he had gathered. Kyd and Shakespeare also wrote Arden of Faversham, and Locrine is Marlowe’s work. Some observations should not be left out. Thomas Kyd and Shakespeare collaborated in many ways. Kyd contributed to Titus Andronicus, and The Spanish Tragedy shows Shakespeare’s style in some places. All of this was concluded not from word frequencies alone, but from a series of investigations that made use of character bi- and trigrams which evaluated more text than word frequencies and were statistically more sound. Volume I roughly covers the period up to the opening of the Globe, and volume II will have to deal with some errors like Wilkins having written the first two acts of Pericles (once again the result of an insufficient number of word frequencies). But there will also be among other plays the forgeries of Ireland, and the Shakespearean stylistics of Theobald’s Double Falsehood.


Reading Shakespeare’s First Folio

January 9, 2015

Thomas Tyrrell, a PhD candidate at Cardiff University, is reading Shakespeare’s first folio this year.

Read his post on The Tempest here:

The Tempest – Ivan Aivazovsky



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