Tag Archives: Holy Trinity Church Stratford


By Yang Yu ‘To speak, or not to speak?’ This is the title of my first Shakespeare-themed poem, written in 2014. The poem, which focused on the civil struggle for liberty and equality under a totalitarian regime, was recited at the University of Sydney’s Festival of Democracy later that year. My knowledge of Shakespeare back […]

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New Voices for Shakespeare

I’m just back from the 5th British Shakespeare Association conference at the University of Lancaster. There were just under two hundred of us there (scholars, teachers, enthusiasts, and theatre practitioners). I took part in a panel about a new book which we hope heralds a new and fresh approach to Shakespeare criticism. Shakespeare and I […]

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Infinite minds: Shakespeare and Giordano Bruno

On 17 February 1600 the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Campo de’ Fiori, today one of the most colourful squares in Rome. A former Dominican friar born near Naples, this wandering intellectual disseminated his revolutionary ideas throughout Europe. He studied in Geneva and Toulouse, taught at Wittenberg (Hamlet’s alma mater, remember?), […]

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60 Minutes with Shakespeare

For true Shakespearians, there is no question that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare; no debate; no issue. There is a significant mass of historical evidence. His name, or those of the theatre companies for whom he worked, appears on many title-pages; he had an aristocratic patron, the Earl of Southampton; he is described as a writer by […]

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O for a Muse of Fire!

The last evening of this year’s Stratford Poetry Festival took place on Sunday and starred Penny Downie and John Heffernan. ‘Muse of Fire’ was presented in the spirit of celebration for the 400th anniversary of the King James I Bible. It invited us to consider the Bible as one of Shakespeare’s muses, perhaps the muse […]

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Shakespeare Wins the Debate: Part 2

On Monday (3 June) I was the opening speaker at a debate held at the English-Speaking Union headquarters in London at which the motion was ‘This house believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems attributed to him’. The other speakers in favour of the motion were Paul Edmondson and Michael Dobson; […]

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By order of King James I…

Robert McCrum’s piece in yesterday’s Observer about the 400th anniversary of the King James I Version of the Bible (11 May 2011 is the big day!) chimes nicely with the beginning of my week here at the Shakespeare Centre. I was up with the lark for a pre-dawn meeting with a colleague from our Library […]

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