The British Library
03/24/2017 at 14:09. Facebook
'The Woman playes to day, mistake me not,
No Man in Gown, or page in Petty-Coat;’

The first female Desdemona took to the stage on 8 December 1660. Prior to that, all the female roles in Shakespeare’s plays had been performed by boys or men.

This #ShakespeareWeek, follow the journey of women playing Shakespeare, from the all-male playhouses of Shakespeare's day, to great actresses in female...
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The British Library
03/24/2017 at 10:49. Facebook
'I hope they take away the fact that memories and testimonials from the past need to be preserved.'

On International Women's Day, Jill Liddington, Abi Morgan, Heidi Safia Mirza, Deborah Withers and Margaretta Jolly discussed the power and potential of archiving stories of sexism, sisterhood and struggle.

Listen to their discussion:
The British Library
03/22/2017 at 11:58. Facebook
‘Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you,
trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our
players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.’

Do you have a preference for prose or are you all about iambs? Explore Shakespeare’s use of both and how it can help us understand class, character psychology and mood: [ Link ] #ShakespeareWeek
The British Library
03/21/2017 at 11:22. Facebook
Did you know that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was based on a famous folktale which originated as early as the 15th century?

On #WorldPoetryDay, we look at Arthur Brooke’s 3,020 line poem, 'The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet' (1562). It was the first English translation of the folktale and would later become a key source for Shakespeare. Discover how Brooke’s version compares with...
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You can’t buy happiness, even from Charlotte Brontë. Her ‘Search After Happiness’, which she wrote when she was just 13, was “sold by nobody” [ Link ]

Happy #ShakespeareWeek!

To start the week, here's 'The Book of Sir Thomas More', the only surviving play script to contain Shakespeare's handwriting.

Based on handwriting, spelling, vocabulary, images and ideas expressed, three pages of the manuscript have been identified as Shakespeare’s. Explore more with #DiscoveringLiterature: [ Link ]
Happy #StPatricksDay!

This image dates back to the mid-15th century and shows the patron saint, depicted as a bishop, standing at St Patrick’s Purgatory in County Donegal.
Let me Yongle that for you…

Commissioned in 1402, did you know the Yongle Encyclopaedia comprised 22,877 chapters bound in 11,095 volumes? [ Link ]

#BeforeWikipedia #BLHighlights
'With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.'

Happy 1st birthday to #DiscoveringLiterature #Shakespeare!
[ Link ]
A sophisticated space in the heart of central London. Exclusive access to our Members’ Room: just one of the great benefits of British Library Membership.

Join here [ Link ]
Don’t be a numpty, if you’ve got nowt on for a few minutes have a skeg at this, featuring our lead curator of Spoken English and the Library’s Evolving English WordBank. It’s well good. [ Link ]

What unusual words do you use?

The death of dialect? Don't believe a word of it
Exploring London this weekend? It’s your last chance to visit our free Victorian Entertainments: There Will Be Fun exhibition. Closing tomorrow at 17.00. [ Link ]

Performing pigs, magic tricks and pantomime! Roll up to celebrate some of the most popular entertainments of Victorian times performed in a variety of venues from fairground tents to musical stages. #BLVictorianFun

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Did Jane Austen develop cataracts from arsenic poisoning?

The British Library has for the first time had Austen's spectacles tested. Take a closer look at her glasses with the latest blog from Untold Lives [ Link ]
Put a spring in your step with our new season of events! Highlights include Sister Souljah, Michael Rosen, Garry Kasparov and a breathtaking #BLRussia1917 Late at the Library.

What will you join us for? Book your tickets now [ Link ]
In case you missed this magical news, yesterday Pottermore revealed some gems being lined up for our #BLHarryPotter exhibition. Take a peek [ Link ]

This particular manuscript was made in Germany in 1582 and shows a red-capped alchemist in flowing robes. Is anyone else very excited?
'There has been great agitation in Petrograd all day. Processions have been parading the main streets.'

The Russian Revolution began #onthisday in 1917. Lead curator of our upcoming #BLRussia1917 exhibition, Katya Rogatchevskaia, explores Grechaninov's Hymn of Free Russia. [ Link ]

Music of the Revolution: the Hymn of Free Russia - European studies blog
Can't wait for our Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition? You can now sign up to hear about all our #BLHarryPotter news at [ Link ]

Step into our exhibition and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. We unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects, capturing the traditions of magic, folklore and mythology often found...
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Happy #BritishPieWeek

This recipe book from 1671, The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May, describes a banquet of increasingly remarkable dishes, culminating in a pie containing live frogs and birds. The intention seems to have been to “cause much delight and pleasure to the whole company,” partly through spectacle and partly by attempting to alarm the “Ladies” of the group:

“All dangers being...
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Today we mark two scientific birthdays, as Professor Brian Cox and Alexander Graham Bell were both born #onthisday – though over 100 years apart.

Brian Cox is just one of the scientists whose early work lives on in our electronic theses service, which also features doctoral essays by Peter Higgs, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Brian May: [ Link ]

This book, ‘The Voice by wire and post-card....
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Witness a world disrupted, shocked and changed forever.

Tracing the fall of Russia’s last Tsar to the rise of the first communist state, our next exhibition takes a fresh look at the Russian Revolution 100 years on.

From a first edition of the Communist Manifesto to rarely seen items from both sides of the conflict including anti-Bolshevik propaganda, explore the stories behind the events...
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