Monday, April 25, 2016

400 Years. Don't They Go By in a Blink.

As I mentioned on my other blog, Saturday was the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.  It's also the day we celebrate his birthday, because we think that's probably the day he was born.  And it's the day I celebrate my birthday, because we know that's the day I was born.  So to celebrate all of those things, Cowboy and our three little mice took me to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC for the first time.

While the Reading Room was closed to the public because they were filming this series of lectures, we did get to wander through the Shakespeare in America Exhibit.  They had a lot of neat stuff there, like costumes from famous performances, bits of movie adaptations going, and lots of advertisements from different performances.  The room itself was exquisite -- my kids were convinced all the panels in the walls were secret cupboards, hee.

This is a copy of Hamlet printed in the 1790s, the version that had recently been performed in Boston.

This is an advertisement for a production of Hamlet in Charleston, SC, in 1805.

This is an illustration of a series of parade floats from Mardi Gras in 1898, each one depicting a different scene from one of Shakespeare's plays.

And they had a display of ways Shakespeare has been referenced in advertising -- I had to take a picture of this one because I collect Coca-Cola stuff.  I've definitely spent many a pleasant moment drinking a Coke and reading Shakespeare, though I don't generally have pink roses at hand.

The outside of the building has all these carved marble scenes depicting various plays.  Of course, I took a picture of the Hamlet scene.

In fact, I took two :-)

I'm going to have to go back there some time when the Reading Room is open to the public, which it generally is on Saturdays.


  1. Wowwwww. This is all so cool. :-) (Even though I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan.) And happy birthday to you!!! Sounds like it was a delightful one.

    1. Thanks, Emma Jane! It was a fun birthday outing :-) And Cowboy bought me a Hamlet t-shirt at the gift shop, too!

  2. I love this!! Isn't DC awesome? I've only been there twice, and the last time we could only stay a few hours--but there's just SO MUCH to see. I love it there.

    I wish I could go to the Folger Shakespeare Library! I've heard a lot about it; and I even have some of their books and stuff. I really should visit.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh . . . that photo of you with the Hamlet carving is perfect!! :-)

    1. Jessica, DC is super cool. It still boggles my mind that Cowboy actually works there, because it's a place I went to on Major Trips when I was a kid, and now we can just go there any day we want? Very weird. But awesome, because we can take our kids on really awesome field trips. Like this!

      You'll laugh, but it didn't dawn on me until I was in their gift shop that all those Folger Shakespeare editions of plays I have... come from there. Duh!

    2. You LIVE near D.C.? WOW!! That must be awesome--you can go to free museums anytime you want!

      It took me a minute to make that connection, too, when I saw the title of your post :-)

    3. Yeah, it's amazing. Really we should go to the museums more often, and now that the kids are old enough to not need to be carried or pushed in a stroller allllllll the time, we've started going more often.

  3. Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you had a fun day! :D

  4. Happy (belated) birthday! :) I'm glad you made it so memorable by doing that - it's nice to have certain things to remember birthdays by. :D
    ~Miss Meg

    1. Thank you, Miss Meg! We try to do something fun on everyone's birthdays, whether it's an outing like this, or sometimes a little party for one of the kids. They make for a nice excuse to break up our usual routines.


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