Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Digital Folger

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Men of Letters

Shakespeare's Influence on Abraham Lincoln

H.W. Fay. Abraham Lincoln. Photograph, 1894, from an earlier master

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, was known for many things. Freeing the slaves. Winning the Civil War. Holding the Union together. But he was also one of our most literary presidents. Of the three books that sat on his White House desk, one of them was the works of Shakespeare—a writer Lincoln cherished throughout his life. He enjoyed going to the theater, too, which in his day often meant Shakespeare.


UCLA professor of English Stephen Dickey, John Andrews, editor of The Everyman Shakespeare, and Michael Bishop, founding Executive Director of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, discuss Shakespeare's enduring influence on Lincoln—and on Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Alan Simpson, a United States Senator from Wyoming for 18 years, talks about why Shakespeare continues to occupy such a special place in the hearts of political leaders today.

The podcast accompanies a Folger Magazine story by Dickey on Lincoln, Booth, and Shakespeare in the spring 2009 issue.


Men of Letters podcast


Producer/Writer/Director: Richard L. Paul
Narrator: Gail Kern Paster


Abraham Lincoln ... Shakespeare applied to our national bereavement. Massachusetts, 1865

Folger Magazine

Stephen Dickey on
Lincoln, Shakespeare, and Booth

You might also like ...

Shakespeare in American Life: Lincoln

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623