152 episodes

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare Unlimited Folger Shakespeare Library

    • Arts
    • 4.8, 471 Ratings

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

    The Booksellers

    The Booksellers

    The Folger started with Henry and Emily Folger, two collectors who loved books and Shakespeare and had the means to pursue what they loved. They were supported by booksellers, who make their livelihoods poring through collections of books and ephemera and bringing those items to the people who want them.

    "The Booksellers," a new documentary directed by D.W. Young, explores the New York rare book world in all its depth, breadth, history, and quirkiness. In it, you’ll meet Syreeta Gates, who is preserving the artifacts of ‘80s and ‘90s hip-hop; Caroline Schimmel, a pioneering collecting of women’s writing; Jay Walker, the collector behind the Museum of the History of Human Imagination; Michael Zinman, who sought out “damaged” books at a time before other booksellers understood their real value; and many other passionate booklovers.

    We talked to D.W. Young to learn more about the present state of this community and to find out where it goes from here. Young is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

    D.W. Young’s films have screened at festivals around the world, including the New York Film Festival, South by Southwest, and the Vancouver International Film Festival. "The Booksellers," executive produced by Parker Posey, is streaming on iTunes, Amazon, and other Video-On-Demand platforms in the US. It is available on DVD and through virtual cinema screenings.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published July 7, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “I Loved My Books,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 26 min
    The King's Men

    The King's Men

    Who were the actors who first performed Shakespeare’s plays? You might know the names of some of the King’s Men—the company of which Shakespeare was a shareholder—like Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, or Robert Armin. But who were their co-stars? How were they cast? And what was it like to watch their performances? In this episode, we talk to Dr. Lucy Munro, author of the latest book in Bloomsbury’s Shakespeare in the Theatre series, The King’s Men. By exploring theatrical contracts, the handful of existing cast lists, and what there is of 16th- and early 17th-century theater criticism, the book gives us a peek into the inner workings of the company that brought Shakespeare’s plays to life for the first time. Munro is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. Dr. Lucy Munro is a lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at King's College London. She is the author of Children of the Queen’s Revels: A Jacobean Theatre Repertory, published by Cambridge University Press in 2005, and Archaic Style in English Literature, 1590-1674, published by Cambridge in 2013. She is the editor John Fletcher's Taming of the Shrew-sequel, The Tamer Tamed, for Methuen Drama in 2010. Her latest, Shakespeare in the Theatre: The King’s Men, was published by Bloomsbury in 2020. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published June 23, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “What Players Are They?”, was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Evan Marquart at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 34 min
    Jonathan Bate on the Classics and Shakespeare

    Jonathan Bate on the Classics and Shakespeare

    Every artist needs inspiration. In this episode, we talk to Sir Jonathan Bate. His book How the Classics Made Shakespeare, published by Princeton University Press in 2019, explores the Greek and Roman authors, narratives, and ideas that suffuse Shakespeare’s works. He was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. Sir Jonathan Bate is Foundation Professor of Environmental Humanities at Arizona State University, and a senior research fellow at Oxford University, where he was formerly provost of Worcester College. Bate’s 1997 book, The Genius of Shakespeare was called “The best book about Shakespeare for a generation” by The Times of London. His newest book, Radical Wordsworth: The Poet Who Changed the World, was just published in 2020 by Yale University Press.

    • 34 min
    Sandra Newman on "The Heavens"

    Sandra Newman on "The Heavens"

    A young woman falls asleep in the 21st century and slowly finds herself slipping into 16th-century England, where she falls in love with an obscure young poet named Will. Sandra Newman’s new novel The Heavens crosses genres. You could call it historical fiction, with its meticulously accurate 16th-century details. You could call it science fiction for its use of time travel and parallel worlds. It’s also a really good, sexy romance novel about Emilia Bassano, the woman who some believe was the inspiration for half of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Sandra Newman joined us recently to talk about what inspired this novel and what it tells us about love, mental illness, and the past, present, and future. Newman is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. Sandra Newman is the author of four novels, including The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, Cake, and The Country of Ice Cream Star. Her latest, The Heavens, was published by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, in 2019. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published May 26, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “If I Should Despair, I Should Grow Mad” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Special thanks to Derek Rusinek and James Walsh at Threshold Recording Studios NYC in Manhattan and Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California for their technical help.

    • 35 min
    Kathryn Harkup on "Death by Shakespeare"

    Kathryn Harkup on "Death by Shakespeare"

    It’s quite a list: Hanged. Prison fever. Stabbed. Stabbed. Poisoned. Beheaded. Beheaded. “Malady of France.” Cannonball. Burnt. Bitten. Eaten. Mauled. Shakespeare wrote about a lot of things, but he really wrote a lot about death. Chemist and science communicator Dr. Kathryn Harkup’s new book is Death By Shakespeare. In it, she takes her readers through a fulsome exploration of death in the plays and provides plenty of grizzly explanations of just what causes it all. We talk to her about a some of those deaths, dying in Shakespeare’s world, and why gruesome deaths feature so prominently in stories from Shakespeare to CSI. Harkup is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. Dr. Kathryn Harkup is a chemist, author, and science communicator. Death by Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts (published in the US by Bloomsbury Sigma, 2020) is the third in her series of books joining popular fiction and science, which also includes A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie and Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. From our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published May 12, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Death is Certain,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer.

    • 35 min
    Shakespeare and Solace

    Shakespeare and Solace

    Do you have a passage from Shakespeare that you return to in difficult times? Is there a sonnet or soliloquy you keep coming back to for comfort or wisdom? This episode of Shakespeare Unlimited will be a little different. We sat down with the Folger’s director, Michael Witmore, and his predecessor in that office, Director Emerita Gail Kern Paster, to talk about the bits of Shakespeare that bring them solace. We also reached out to a few friends of the podcast and asked them to share a little Shakespeare with us. In the 52 minutes traffic of our episode, you’ll hear from Molly Booth, Ian Doescher, Lauren Gunderson, Keith Hamilton-Cobb, Derek Jacobi, Iqbal Khan, Fran Kranz, Ryan North, James Shapiro, Paul Werstine, Casey Wilder Mott, and Stephan Wolfert about the words they’ve been pondering in these troubling times. We hope you'll take some solace in those words too.  From our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published April 28, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “One Thing to Rejoice and Solace In” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
471 Ratings

471 Ratings

jennlaxton ,

Insightful and Accessible

Experts give us lots to think about without being too esoteric. Really enjoy listening to every episode.

Lisa in VT ,

Wonderful material

I love the content in these episodes, and the people interviewed are typically very engaging. But I am not a big fan of the interviewer. There is an attempt to be clever and intimate that falls flat nearly every time. And detracts, at best, from the interesting people being interviewed.

ef9703 ,

Shakespeare from a variety of angles

This podcast explores Shakespeare’s world and work from a multitude of angles that I hadn’t considered previously. I come away from each one with a deeper understanding of the playwright and the plays. I like Barbara Bogaev‘s down to earth yet insightful interviewing style. I am glad to have this podcast; it’s helping me achieve a longstanding goal of mine to become more familiar with Shakespeare and his works.

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