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Shakespeare's Sisters Exhibition Opening Lecture

Georgianna Ziegler, curator


"This exhibition celebrates the voices of many women, of 50 writers who express their feelings about religion and love and adventure and their own places in society," explains curator Georgianna Ziegler in a twenty-five minute lecture that kicked off the  Shakespeare's Sisters exhibition opening on February 6, 2012.

Ziegler shares how she came to curate the exhibition, why she thought it important that the writings of Continental women be included, and her excitement over scholars' discoveries over the past 40 years that have disproved Virginia Woolf's famous passage in which she imagines a gifted sister of William Shakespeare, completely thwarted by the social restrictions of his day.



Shakespeare's Sisters Lecture    |   Transcript



Transcript of the Q & A



Georgianna Ziegler is Louis B. Thalheimer Head of Reference at the Folger Shakespeare Library.


After receiving a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in early modern English and French literature, Georgianna taught at Davidson College and Wofford College in the Carolinas. She then returned to the University of Pennsylvania where she served as Curator of the Horace Howard Furness Shakespeare Library in the Rare Book Department, while also teaching classes in English literature and pursuing a library degree at Drexel University.


In 1992, Georgianna came to the Folger where, in addition to her reference and teaching work, she has curated several exhibitions, notably Shakespeare’s Unruly Women, and Elizabeth I: Then and Now, as well as co-curating exhibitions on mapping, on Shakespeare in children’s literature, and on the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.


Georgianna is an active member of the Shakespeare Association of America and the Renaissance Society of America, and has published on Shakespeare’s heroines, on Elizabeth I and Elizabeth of Bohemia, and on the calligrapher Esther Inglis. She has recently finished a book manuscript, Domesticating the Bard: Women and Shakespeare 1790-1890

Georgianna Ziegler


Shakespeare's Sisters Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700

Photo Gallery

Esther Inglis. Argumenta psalmorum Davidis. Manuscript, 1608.

Mary Wroth. The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania. London, 1621

V. Sackville-West. Knole and the Sackvilles. London, 1922

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