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Manifold Greatness Exhibition Opening Lecture

Hannibal Hamlin, exhibition co-curator


Hannibal Hamlin

Curator Hannibal Hamlin opens the Folger exhibition, Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible, on September 22, 2011 with a thirty-minute lecture on the extraordinary influence of the King James Bible over 400 years.

Mirroring the exhibition's focus on the human story behind one of the most widely-known books in the English language, Hamlin's talk focuses on eight people involved in the history of the King James Bible: 

  • two translators
    William Tyndale and John Rainolds
  • two printers
    Robert Barker and Robert Aitken
  • two statesmen
    Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln
  • two writers
    John Milton and Herman Melville

Manifold Greatness Opening Lecture
  |  Transcript


Hannibal Hamlin, Associate Professor of English at the Ohio State University, studied English at the University of Toronto and completed his doctorate in Renaissance Studies at Yale University. Renaissance literature and culture, especially Shakespeare, Donne, the Sidneys, and Milton, the Bible as/and/in literature, metrical psalms, and lyric poetry are among his scholarly interests. His publications include Psalm Culture and Early Modern English Literature (Cambridge, 2004), The Sidney Psalter: Psalms of Philip and Mary Sidney, co-editor (Oxford World Classics, 2009), The King James Bible after 400 Years: Literary, Linguistic and Cultural Influences, co-editor (Cambridge, 2011), along with numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. A book on the Bible in Shakespeare is Hamlin’s major current project, in support of which he has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies (a Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship), and the National Humanities Center, among other grants. He is editor of the journal Reformation and guest editor of a forthcoming forum on Poetry and Devotion for Religion and Literature.


John Rainolds. Oil on panel, 17th Century. © Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington. Library of Congress

Bible. English. Authorized. London, 1611

William Tyndale, Hertford College Chapel, Oxford, photo (c) Tim Rawle

Herman Melville (1819–91). Moby Dick. Illustrated by Rockwell Kent. Chicago, 1930. Courtesy of the Library of Congress


Manifold Greatness online



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