Wednesday, January 5, 2022





J.R. Thorp on Learwife

A banished queen receives word that her husband and three daughters are dead. Learwife, a new novel by J.R. Thorp, picks up where Shakespeare’s King Lear leaves off. On the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast, Thorp discusses her inspirations, character backstories, and the roles of grief and nothingness in the book.


The New West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s re-imagined take on West Side Story has been attracting lots of Oscars buzz. Sixty years after the original musical and film, Carla Della Gatta writes about how the 2021 movie adds new layers to the Shakespearean story of the tragic love affair between two teenagers divided by rival New York gangs, the Sharks and the Jets.





Early Modern Letterlocking and Mary, Queen of Scots

Did you make a New Year's resolution to write more letters in 2022? To add an extra challenge, try your hand at letterlocking — an early modern practice of slitting and folding paper to secure a letter from prying eyes.

Scholars have recently untangled the complicated spiral lock that Mary, Queen of Scots used to seal what is thought to be her final letter, right before her execution in 1587. Read the story from NPR, and visit the Folger's Collation blog to learn more about early modern letterlocking and the silk-flossing technique used by the wife of James I.




-- 2021 in Review --


Top Blog Posts

Read the year's most popular posts on our Shakespeare & Beyond blog, from Ian McKellen as Hamlet to the Islamic history of coffee.


Top Podcasts

Our most popular Shakespeare Unlimited episodes explore the British royal family, a Shakespeare-inspired novel, and more.


Top Folger Finds

Feast your eyes on these beautiful books from the Folger collection, some of our most popular #FolgerFinds posts on Instagram in 2021.





For more encounters with the Folger collection, follow @FolgerLibrary on Instagram.


Instagram post of a miniature book showing a snowy scene





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