Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Folger Exhibitions
• Past Exhibitions
The Curatorial Eye
Cultural Cross-Currents in the Nineteenth Centur

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Cultural Cross-Currents in the Nineteenth Century



Curated by Kathleen Burlingame, Stephanie Fell, and Nadia Seiler


Interest in William Shakespeare as both poet and playwright intensified throughout the nineteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic. In Great Britain, this period was marked by increasingly elaborate stage productions and the rise of actors such as Edmund Kean and William Charles Macready. Literary and scholarly attention increased as well, as the purview of academia moved beyond the confines of the ancient classics to include English vernacular literature. At the same time, traveling Shakespearean acting troupes roamed the wagon trails and waterways of the American frontier, while urban opera houses and working-class theaters were filled with applause for visiting players and the home-grown talent of American actors such as Edwin Forrest.

 
 

The manuscripts in this case were recently discovered in a large collection of correspondence that is currently being cataloged as part of a grant from the Mellon Foundation. They include a letter from novelist George Eliot to Oscar Browning (who went on to write her biography in 1890), a letter from James Howard on the Astor Place Theatre riot in New York City in 1849, a letter from Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest to his mother reporting his withdrawal from an acting engagement at Drury Lane, a farewell address given by Shakespearean actor, Edmund Kean, and a letter between Shakespearian actor Edwin Booth and scholar Asa Fish, discussing Hamlet .

 

The image shown at right is actor Edmund Kean dressed in the Huron costume given to him my several Wyandot chiefs.

 

Listen to manuscript cataloger Nadia Seiler explain this unusual story by clicking the link below the image.

 

Next >>
 
Frederick Meyer. Edmund Kean Esqr. In the dress ... of ... Alanienouidet ... Print, 1827



Listen

Hail to the Chief



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »
    Hours:
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
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623