Celebration Quotation – April 2, 2016

Today’s quotation is from The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

"Oh how this spring of love resembles the uncertain glory of an April day!" The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I,, Scene 3

The drawing is a costume rendering by Walford Graham Robertson (1866-1948).  Robertson was a painter, illustrator, and costume designer who designed for theatre royalty including Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt.  He also wrote, plays. and novels, and a memoir, and was a noted art collector.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – April 1, 2016

In honor of April Fool’s Day, a quote from a not-so-foolish Fool in Twelfth Night:

"Better a witty fool than a foolish wit." Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene 5

We love this image, but the artist, alas, was unidentified.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 31, 2016

Today’s quote is from Richard III:

"Short summers lightly have a forward spring." Richard III, Act III, Scene 1

This is a meaning line, spoken by Richard (still the Earl of Gloucester at this point in the play) to his precocious – and ill-fated – young nephew.

The image is an engraving a work by artist James Northcote (1736-1841).  It’s dated 1791.  Nothcote studied under painter Joshua Reynolds – you can see Reynolds’ influence in his work.  View a collection of his paintings here at ArtUK.org.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 30, 2016

Today’s quote is from Twelfth Night:

"If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die." Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene 1

The actor in the photo is Creston Clarke (1865-1910). A member of the Booth theatrical family (he was the nephew of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth), Clarke began his career in England, but spent the last part of his life in America, eventually forming his own repertory company.  He died at the young age of 44.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 29, 2016

Today’s quote is from Hamlet:

"Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment." Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3

The illustration is a costume design by artist/illustrator George Johann Scharf (1788-1860).  It is dated 1825.  Scarf was an illustrator and lithographer who made his career creating portraits of daily life in London in the early 19th century.  There are more than 1,000 of his watercolors, drawings and lithographs on file in the collection at the British Museum.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 28, 2016

Today’s quote is from Antony and Cleopatra:

"Make not your thoughts your prison." Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, Scene 2

The image of Octavius Caesar, is a drawing by artist Sylvester Harding (1745-1809.)  It was published in 1775.  We we’re intrigued by a note on the print – “from a coin in Dr. Hunter’s Museum.”  We did a little digging and discovered two 18th century Scottish brothers – William Hunter and John Hunter. Both were physicians and teachers, and both amassed huge personal collections of medical specimens.  John Hunter – now considered to be the “father of modern surgery” left his collection to the Royal College of Surgeons in London, and some of it can still be viewed there today. His elder brother William founded what is now known as the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow in Scotland to house his collection. William’s collection was more eclectic than his brother’s – in addition to scientific specimens, it also included a huge art collection, as well as artifacts from ancient Greece and Rome – including, presumably, the coin that was the inspiration for this drawing.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!  Today’s quote is from Hamlet:

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5

The actor in this engraved portrait (published in 1887) is Henry Irving (1838-1905).  Irving was one of the most celebrated actor-managers of the Victorian era, and the very first actor to ever be offered a knighthood.  Irving worked to the very last day of his life: he suffered a stroke on stage at the end of a touring performance of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Becket – he was carried to a nearby hotel, and died shortly thereafter.

You can hear an 1898 recording of Irving delivering the opening speech in Shakespeare’s Richard III on YouTube.  Find it here.

If you’re a Hamlet fan – or want to know more about the play and its history – there’s an awesome website dedicated to all things Hamlet, including profiles of a number of actors (including Irving) who played the “Melancholy Dane” – worth a look, if you have a chance!

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 26, 2016

Today’s quote is from Cymbeline:

"Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney sweepers, come to dust." Cymbeline, Act IV, Scene 2

The quote is actually from a song, which we have included in next month’s Shakespeare Celebration production.  The lyrics are lovely:

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, 
Nor the furious winter’s rages; 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages: 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. 
Fear no more the frown o’ the great; 
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke; 
Care no more to clothe and eat; 
To thee the reed is as the oak: 
The scepter, learning, physic, must 
All follow this, and come to dust. 
Fear no more the lightning flash, 
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone; 
Fear not slander, censure rash; 
Thou hast finished joy and moan: 
All lovers young, all lovers must 
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 
No exorciser harm thee! 
Nor no witchcraft charm thee! 
Ghost unlaid forbear thee! 
Nothing ill come near thee! 
Quiet consummation have; 
And renownèd be thy grave!

The image is by British engraver/illustrator John Thurston (1774-1822). It was published in 1799.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 25, 2016

Today’s quote is from Hamlet:

"What a piece of work is a man!" Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2

As this is Women’s History Month, we’ve chosen this image of another female Hamlet: Bessie Hatton does not have a Wikipedia page, but from what we uncovered on other websites, she should.  The daughter of writer Joseph Hatton, she began her career on the stage in 1887, but later gave up the stage to become an author herself.  Hatton was heavily involved in the women’s suffrage movement in Britain – in 1908, along with actress/writer Cicely Hamilton, she founded the Women Writers Suffrage League, an organization that produced literature and plays to forward the cause of voter equality for women.  It’s unsurprising, then, that as an actress, Hatton would not be afraid to take on the role of Hamlet.

What a piece of work is a man – or a woman!

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection

Celebration Quotation – March 24, 2016

Today’s quote comes from King Lear:

"Thou, Nature, art my goddess." King Lear, Act I, Scene 2

The engraving – of the scene from the play in which this line is spoken – is by English painter/miniaturist Henry Singleton (1766-1839).  Singleton’s works can be found in museums throughout the U.K – see more online here at ArtUK.org.

Image Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection