Skip to main content
Shakespeare Unlimited podcast

Shakespeare and the Enviroment, with Todd Andrew Borlik

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 233

Land enclosure. Wildlife management. Erosion. Pollution. Mining practices. Today, we’d call these environmental issues. But, hundreds of years before the modern environmental movement coalesced, these issues also appeared in Shakespeare’s plays. We talk to Todd Andrew Borlik, a professor at the University of Huddersfield and author of Shakespeare Beyond the Green World: Drama and Ecopolitics in Jacobean Britain, about ecology and environmentalism in Shakespeare’s works.

Listen to Shakespeare Unlimited on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Shakespeare Beyond the Green World: Drama and Ecopolitics in Jacobean Britain is out now from Oxford University Press.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published April 9, 2024. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This episode was produced by Matt Frassica, with help from Kendra Hanna. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits our transcripts. We had technical help from Voice Trax West in Studio City, California. Final mixing services provided by Clean Cuts at Three Seas, Inc.

Previous: Ramie Targoff on Shakespeare’s Sisters: Women Writers in the English Renaissance



MICHAEL WITMORE: The forest has plenty of metaphorical meanings in Shakespeare’s plays. But his depictions of the natural world also speak to very real concerns about the environment in early modern England.

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I’m Michael Witmore, the Folger director.

There were no environmentalists in Shakespeare’s day. That’s because the science and politics that created the modern environmental movement would take another 300 years to come together. But that doesn’t mean that arguments over land use and wildlife conservation weren’t raging in Shakespeare’s day.

Todd Andrew Borlik argues in his book Shakespeare Beyond the Green World that King James took a particular interest in those arguments, in part because he was an avid hunter. Shakespeare was attuned to the interests of the king. Those conflicts show up in the plays Shakespeare wrote during James’s reign.

Seen in this light, the plays address debates over the enclosure of land, wildlife management, overfishing, and the fur trade, sometimes in ways that serve the king’s interests and sometimes subverting them.

Here’s Todd Andrew Borlik in conversation with Barbara Bogaev.


BARABA BOGAEV: I was thinking, as I started your book, that it is natural to think that Renaissance England was a less polluted place than today’s world. Not plagued by the same environmental issues we face. But that’s not entirely true at all. Why don’t you start with a snapshot of what they were dealing with back then?

TODD ANDREW BORLIK: Yeah, sadly, Shakespeare’s England was dealing with a lot of the same issues that we’re confronting today. Climate change, overpopulation, de-wilding, and extinction. There’s a lot of habitat destruction that’s been going on really for centuries.

So, Shakespeare’s contemporaries didn’t see themselves as sort of basking in this prelapsarian, pristine environment. They saw themselves as living in an Iron Age where industrial technologies had been ravaging the planet for millennia.

BOGAEV: Yeah. And you put a really fine point on that, that really the Industrial Revolution started with the Romans’ arrival in Britain and their tin mining.

BORLIK: Yeah, that’s right. There’s a major expansion of mining operations in Shakespeare’s day, in part motivated by the fact they’re running out of wood. So, there’s a shift in the energy regime in the late 16th century, away from an economy that’s powered by wood towards coal.

You can see the origins of the Industrial Revolution are really, you know, stretched back to the late 16th century to the Elizabethan period. It’s this that permits England to be the launch point for the Industrial Revolution. It had developed the infrastructure to harvest all of its mineral resources and created this very extractive-based economy that, yeah, created the world we live in now.

BOGAEV: We’ve talked a lot on the show about the population surge happening right then. Fourfold, you point out. Part of the conflicts at the time involved the enclosure of common lands policy that forced more people to flock to London.

BORLIK: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. It’s difficult for us to imagine how small London was back at the start of the 16th century. In Shakespeare’s day, the population was still only around 200,000. That’s the size of Akron, Ohio, today. It’s a much smaller place.

But it’s exploded exponentially throughout Queen Elizabeth’s reign, in part because of the enclosures that are happening around the countryside. There’s no longer this common land available for people to graze and do the subsistence farming, so they’re forced to migrate into London to look for work.

There’s this urban population boom, and that creates a lot of environmental problems in terms of the coal pollution and the sanitation. There’s pollution in the Thames. There are also plague outbreaks as a result.

BOGAEV: Right, and to top it all of you write that this was a time that was also a little ice age, that brought cooler temperatures and bad harvests. So, you have famines, you have plagues. All of this, you write, was very much top of mind for Shakespeare.

Also, King James became patron of the King’s Men in 1603. Why don’t you remind us just how much James’s rule involved environmental policy and these ecological issues? Not only the ones we were talking about, but also because James was big on hunting and the outdoors, and also an empire builder.

BORLIK: King James is kind of an implied spectator for a lot of Shakespeare’s plays. He is an avid outdoorsman, someone who’s really deeply concerned about the state of Britain’s wildlife.

He grows up in Scotland, of course, and when he comes down to England, he realizes how de-wilded the landscape is. There aren’t as many animals around for him to hunt. He’s quite appalled by this and is pushing a lot of legislation to promote what we would call wildlife conservation.

In fact, he’s even pushing what we would call rewilding initiatives: importing wild boar from France to release in Windsor Forest. So, he’s very ecologically savvy, but in a strange way, he’s promoting these environmental conservation initiatives so he can have the prerogative of killing the animals.

That’s a great example of how kooky the environmentalism is of the 16th, 17th century. It doesn’t quite map on to our current thinking on these issues today.

BOGAEV: Yeah, “kooky” is the word. You also say obviously not everyone shared James’ vision of either this, kind of, green England, or of a homogenous British empire. What were the conflicts? Who was on what side and how did explore these disputes in the plays?

BORLIK: Right, so, the accession of King James makes Shakespeare a lot more appreciative of the wildness of Great Britain. I think a lot of the vitality and the primal energy of Shakespeare’s poetry is actually feeding off of the wildness of a pre-industrial Britain.

But, he’s also trying to chart the topographies, the bioregional diversity of Great Britain. That’s why he’s taking these extended detours in his plays to the heaths of Scotland, to the mountains of Wales, to the fens of East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

There’s a lot of controversy in Shakespeare’s day about who really has control of the resources or who does the land belong to. James obviously fancied himself an absolute monarch and thought that this was, you know, his candy store, really. And a lot of the courtiers are constantly jockeying for these monopolies and patents to exploit the natural resources of the land.

BOGAEV: One sentence in your introduction of these themes really leapt out at me. You wrote, “His plays present a commoner’s eye view on an absolute monarch’s eye view of the natural world, and the gulf between these perspectives shapes what stories he tells and how he tells them.”

So, I read that; what I heard there is you saying Shakespeare wasn’t just a court eco-propagandist. I mean, he was laying out these issues. And, for instance, as you mentioned, it does put a different spin on Lear. As you describe it, you see the play as a blow to ecological tyranny. Unpack that for us.

BORLIK: Right. So, James had written about himself as this absolute monarch who had a God-given right to all the resources of the land. This rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I think the hubris of James’s attitudes towards the environment—that it was his personal dominion—creates a corresponding backlash in Shakespeare, where he starts to critique these ideas of environmental sovereignty, and sort of corrode some of the hubris of James’s delusions.

There is, in many of the late plays, a trope that I call, “The king in the storm.” You have this very privileged ruler who makes these grandiose claims to environmental sovereignty and they wander out into these wild spaces and are disabused of these cornucopian, selfish delusions that the land exists to cater to them.

BOGAEV: Let’s talk about heaths. Because I realized when I started your book, I didn’t I didn’t even know what a heath was. But let’s talk about it. You know, in specific, in Macbeth. And the “blasted heath” Shakespeare depicts is an abode for witches.

Now often we’re taught that’s Shakespeare catering to the Scottish King James obsession with witches and witchcraft. But you say it goes far beyond that, particularly if you look at Scotland and land policy there at the time. Explain that connection.

BORLIK: The heath is a manmade landscape that’s the result of deforestation, where the soil could not regenerate the trees, or humans have been grazing it so the trees can’t return. It’s full of this vegetation like heather, ling, furze, gore. For most people in Shakespeare’s day, it’s a wasteland.

But the attitudes towards it are really changing. There’s a movement to scorch them and convert them into arable farmland. Commoners, the landless poor, are really reliant on the heaths for subsistence farming and for grazing. But it’s these wealthy landowners who are coming in, torching the heath or blasting it, as they say, and trying to convert it to agriculture.

So, Shakespeare’s description of it as “blasted” suggests that it’s, you know, infected by some kind of supernatural agency. But it might also refer to the actual practice of burning and scorching the heaths by agricultural improvers.

A lot of these agricultural improvers—we would call them developers today—have very pejorative views of the heaths as these abodes of witchcraft and sterility. Some of that registers clearly in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

But James also had a deep appreciation for heaths because they are bastions for wildlife. James is constantly escaping London to go to his hunting lodges to spend time on the heaths. And, he’s concerned, again, that people are poaching there, that they’re destroying the heathlands. They’re nest-robbing.

This is really infused into the imagery of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s not just the description of the blasted heath, but there’s all these avian images throughout the play too, where Shakespeare seems to be endorsing the conservation policies of the king.

BOGAEV: You write that this was deliberate on Shakespeare’s part. And you see that because he’s departing from his source, Holinshed, who described Macbeth and Banquo passing through woods and fields. Not a blasted heath.

BORLIK: Yes. Yeah, so it’s almost as if Shakespeare’s kind of fast-forwarded history from this medieval era where there’s just a clearing where the original encounter takes place with the Weird Sisters, to a blasted heath. Because these clearings, over the centuries as the land’s deforested, will turn into heaths.

So, he seems to be aware of the heathification of the Scottish landscape and it’s something that humans did. It’s not something that just naturally occurring.

BOGAEV: Huh. Now we get to the birds. Shakespeare compares Macbeth to a poacher and a kite. You write that—you point out that’s a species that’s considered vermin. Macbeth is imagining a red kite devouring human corpses: “Our monuments shall be the maws of kites.” How does this ecological preservation theme explain the birds as a motif in the play?

BORLIK: It’s curious that the avian imagery is so consistent throughout the play. It’s more prevalent than we’ve realized. In the of the earliest accounts of a performance of the play, Simon Forman just writes the name of “Macduff” as “Macdove.” And in Holinshed, the Duncan character is actually known as “Duff.” Now, Duff is a Scottish pronunciation of dove.

There’s this real dichotomy in the play between birds that are seen as positive, beneficial to humans, and then birds that are seen as vermin, as predatorial. This divide between the forces of sterility and ferality in the play play out in the avian images.

This reflects actual environmental policy in 16th, 17th century, where certain species who were declared non-grata were… well, actually, hunted. There was a bounty on them. Kites, and ravens, and crows were all killed in huge numbers. And it led to, you know, the decimation of a lot of England’s wildlife.

BOGAEV: So, Macbeth’s killing of Duncan, and Macduff then is kind of an allegory for what is illegal hunting and—I think you write—nest-robbing and raiding of estate buildings known as “dovecotes.”

BORLIK: Yeah, exactly, Barbara. There’s a scene in Act 1, Scene 7, I think. Macbeth speaks about trammeling up the consequences of his crime. A “trammel” is actually a type of net that was used by birders out on the heaths. And King James has outlawed these. Macbeth is violating the king’s own environmental policies.

Then there’s all this avian imagery in the scene associated with Macduff—or Macdove as I’ve come to think of him. The attack on his castle is replicating a raid on a dovecote. This was commonly done in the 17th century by the king’s own men, who were looking for saltpeter. They’re harvesting the droppings to make gunpowder.

Dovecotes were flashpoints for environmental law because these were places where the king had claimed that he owned the land. He owned all the soil of the realm. These gunpowder men or saltpeter men are bursting in, killing the doves, digging up the land.

And Shakespeare replicates that in that scene when the murderers kill Macduff’s family. And there’s even an indication of nest robbing. One of the weirdest lines probably in all of Shakespeare is when one of the murderers says, before he stabs Macduff’s son, “What, you egg?” And I think that that’s such—

BOGAEV: I forgot that. I thought that was just a little kid.

BORLIK: It’s such a bizarre line that a lot of productions cut it out because it makes people laugh at an awkward moment. But, Shakespeare’s really collapsing the animal/human boundary with metaphors like that.

BOGAEV: Ok, so, just to help us out. In the end, what does Macbeth sum up about environmental divide at the time? I know that’s a hard one, but I’m anticipating you’re going to say it’s like many of Shakespeare’s plays, if not all of them, he has it both ways.

BORLIK: That’s part of the beauty of Shakespeare’s works, isn’t it? That capaciousness, that ability to see both points of view. And on the one hand, he is supporting King James’s policies. And he is supporting this agrarian attitude of developing the land and promoting human control over the landscape through agriculture.

But, at the same time, I think there’s a dark ecology to the play as well. That Shakespeare is exalting the heaths, in that his poetry is really energized and inflamed by the wildness of nature, by the predatorial species, the violence, the drama of wildness. He’s exalting the darker side of nature.

So, we partially, sort of, root for Macbeth, and we’re saddened by his loss because it also is replicating the destruction of the wildness of England. The kites, the ravens, the wolves that are being gradually rubbed out of the picture.

BOGAEV: Let’s tackle Pericles next. And before I ask you my questions, maybe you could remind us of the plot because it’s not the most-often staged of Shakespeare’s plays.

BORLIK: It’s not the most streamlined plot either, is it?

BOGAEV: I know, I know. Not fair. Better you than me.

BORLIK: It zigzags all over the place. The heart of it, it’s about Pericles’s attempt to recover his family as a result of the storm at sea.

His wife gives birth in the midst of a sea storm. She apparently dies, so she’s hurled overboard because it’s bad luck to keep a corpse on board. The sailors are very superstitious.

He leaves the newborn daughter on the coast with foster family who are supposed to look after the daughter. But, in fact they get quite annoyed with how wonderful and impossibly, you know, good-looking and clever she is. They decide—the queen, evil queen—decides to have her kidnapped.

She’s sold into slavery and she’s taken to a whorehouse. She’s essentially supposed to—destined to become a sex slave. But, through her eloquence and her supernatural charm, she manages to overawe everyone with her goodness.

And Pericles travels around the Mediterranean as a broken man, and is eventually reunited with his wife and daughter.

BOGAEV: Okay, good, good. The play is coming back to us, I hope. And now we can talk about fish instead of the birds. Here you write that Shakespeare’s working with European battles over fishing rights. What was the dispute all about?

BORLIK: This is a great example of the way that history constantly rhymes. One of the driving forces behind Brexit, as many listeners will know, was the desire of the British fishing industry to wriggle out of the regulations of the EU. There are similar squabbles going on over the fisheries in the 17th century.

King James is trying to claim national ownership of the fisheries and exclude other nations from coming in and harvesting the fish. He’s driven to do this because the fisheries are collapsing already. There’s already a sense that fishing has been done in an unsustainable way that’s driven the shoals farther and farther from shore. There’s a real concern that the fish are disappearing. Shakespeare’s glancing at this in Pericles when he talks about the watery empire of Pericles and he includes a scene where the fishermen are complaining that the fish are being gobbled up. The big fish are gobbling up the little ones in the way that the wealthy are devouring the poor. And this is playing out actually in the fisheries as well, the way that they’re being over harvested.

BOGAEV: So this maybe is a dumb question, but is there reason to believe Shakespeare was just conversant in the debate about British sea sovereignty?

BORLIK: Well, keep in mind, he’s working for the king. The king’s his patron, so he has an ear on a lot of the discussions, the debates, the economic policies of the court. And he’s writing plays that are trying to entertain people who are steeped in this. Writing the rule book. Devising the legislation.

Of course, he’s weaving these illusions into the play to incite them, to startle them, to shock them, and often, force them to reevaluate, reassess their ideologies, their policies.

BOGAEV: Okay, another part of your argument is that Pericles also deals with fears of coastal erosion.

BORLIK: In 1607, one of the worst natural disasters occurs in the history of England. There’s this massive tidal bore that comes up the Severn. It’s so intense, some scientists have proposed it could even have been a tsunami. The tidal wave is probably 12 feet high, and it seems to have inundated villages 14 miles inland.

There are several allusions in the play to the sea swallowing the land. There’s this irony in the play in that Pericles and King James are both claiming sovereignty of the sea as if it’s their private possession. But what we see in reality is that the sea is gnawing away at the land, is destroying their kingdoms. It’s eroding it.

There’s this fear of coastal erosion, of coastal change in Shakespeare’s day, that’s as pronounced as our fear of climate change. England was getting smaller.

BOGAEV: Okay, there are so many layers here too. Moving on to The Winter’s Tale. Here you write, “The Tudor environmental conflict involves the inhumanity of the fur trade.” So first, again, just very briefly, if you could remind us of the plot of The Winter’s Tale since it’s another lesser-known play.

BORLIK: King Leontes is overcome with this irrational jealousy that he believes his best friend, Polixenes, is having an affair with his wife, Hermione. He flies into a jealous rage. When Hermione gives birth, he banishes the child into the wilderness. He has Hermione tried for treason.

And 16 years pass before he is eventually reunited with his lost daughter, who’s grown up on a farm in the countryside of Bohemia. She returns home, is reunited with him. Then, he goes to the art gallery of Paulina, and the statue of his dead wife is miraculously resurrected.

Once again, we have this plot with the separation and reunion of the family as really core to Shakespeare’s late romances.

BOGAEV: Where do we get the inhumanity of the fur trade in this?

BORLIK: This is the play that contains the most famous stage direction in all of Shakespeare, “Exit pursued by a bear.”

In 1609, a man named Jonas Poole makes a voyage to Bear Island in Svalbard, and he kills and skins seven polar bears. One of the bears he kills has two young cubs—he says they’re about the size of newborn lambs—and he brings them back to London and gives them to King James.

It’s quite possible that one of these polar bears could have been imprinted on a handler and trained to perform. It’s not inconceivable that, in a court performance of The Winter’s Tale, a polar bear may have actually scampered across the stage.

The polar bear’s white fur is a signifier of luxury, of the wealth to be gained in the Arctic fur trade. And there’s imagery of skinning and flaying all throughout the play.

This is really pronounced in the pun on the name of the queen, Hermione. I was reading an Elizabethan romance called Sidney’s Arcadia, and I noticed there’s a scene where these two knights are quarreling, and there’s an impresa on one of the knight’s shields of an ermine. But, Sidney spells it E R M I O N: “Ermion.” I almost fell out of my chair when I realized that in fact Hermione is imagined as an ermine.

There are several reasons for this. The ermine is from the snowy north. It’s a member of the weasel family, and it’s seasonally dimorphic, which means that its coat changes white in winter. They’re imported from Russia. They are symbols of royalty. Only the monarch is allowed to wear ermine.

They’re also symbols of sexual chastity. The one thing people knew about ermine in Shakespeare’s day is that it was would rather be killed than sully its lustrous white coat.

BOGAEV: Which is what Queen Hermione says.


BOGAEV: She’d rather die than stain her name as an adulteress.

BORLIK: Exactly. So, it seems as if Leontes is conducting this really sadistic experiment where he wants Hermione to prove her sexual fidelity by dying. She has to reenact the feat of her namesake, the ermine.

It’s not just the spelling, but what I was shocked to discover is that if you scan the meter of the play, maybe we’ve been mispronouncing it for 400 years. We all say “Her-MI-o-ne.” But if you look at the lines, “He’s beat from his best ward. / Well said, Hermione,” and, “Leave you to your graver steps.—Hermione…” “Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she.” Those are ten syllable lines.

If you say “Her-mi-o-ne,” you’ve got twelve syllable lines. It’s as if, you know, the king’s using a pet name for his wife to constantly badger her to live up to this impossible ideal of sexual chastity.

BOGAEV: You’re saying the audience in Shakespeare’s day would know exactly what was going on.

BORLIK: Yes, they would have. They would have twigged onto this for sure. Because they’re so attuned to clothing as markers of status. When she’s accused of infidelity, in the treason trial, she would be stripped of her fur on stage because only the queen can wear that. So this—the trial scene—it reenacts the flaying of an ermine.

BOGAEV: But you’re not saying that Shakespeare’s putting forth agendas against animal cruelty or had any even such ideas about that. I mean, he’s a glover’s son. He dealt with animal skins. He probably wore fur. What’s the conflict here?

BORLIK: As you said before, Barbara, I think he has it both ways. This is what makes him so beguiling. Yes, Shakespeare’s almost certainly wearing furs himself in winter. He knows that this is accepted part of English culture.

But I think the imaginative range of Shakespeare, his capacity to empathize across not just lines of gender and race, but also species, is really superhuman. It’s one of the most extraordinary things about him. And it’s what makes his plays so phenomenally moving.

So, there’s an aspect of him that he is deeply upset and moved by the mistreatment of other species and of the planet, even as he knows to some extent that it’s inevitable.

BOGAEV: Do you see a shift in how Shakespeare thought about these issues during his lifetime as he aged?

BORLIK: One of the ideas I put forward in the book is that James’s reign creates a shift towards thinking about Britain as a much wilder place. In the Elizabethan plays, Shakespeare is mostly confined to lowland England and the forests and pastures. After James comes to the throne, he is venturing out into heaths and mountains and fens.

It’s as if he’s trying to chart that topographical diversity of the realm. So, I do think he’s much more invested in environmental issues in his later plays because his patron king, James, was.

BOGAEV: I’m still thinking about what you were just saying about The Winter’s Tale. It’s almost as if you’re suggesting that Shakespeare was, or his plays are, a little bit like early canaries in the coal mine of our modern ecological degradation.

BORLIK: Yeah, that’s a wonderful—

BOGAEV: Is that overstating it?

BORLIK: No, I quite like that metaphor, actually. He is forcing us to think about the way that we treat the earth. The way that we assume that the natural resources are just there for our plucking.

You can see that his plays are extrapolating out what happens if we behave in this way indefinitely, for generations. If we are constantly taking from the earth and not giving back. I think some of the apocalyptic anxiety in plays like King Lear and Timon of Athens and Macbeth are registering a sense that this covenant with nature has been broken. That nature might stop catering to our survival.

BOGAEV: Oh, I was thinking you did a lot of research for this book, including hiking a good bit in Great Britain. Any memorable things happen during your trip?

BORLIK: I did go on a quest in the fenlands to try and track down Tiddy Mun. This is a spirit of the wetlands. I’ve come to kind of think of him as the Lorax of the fens.

I went with a colleague of mine who’s a wonderful poet and a great naturalist, Stevie Lai, and he’s from this part of the country. We went off to a pub and we were trying to talk to the locals to figure out if, you know, they knew anything about Tiddy Mun.

Maybe, secretly, I was hoping we would kind of stumble into The Wicker Man and we’d uncover this pagan cult that had been flourishing underground for, say, for centuries. But the locals at the pub just looked at me blankly like I was a lunatic.

I had another strange encounter when I hiked up Pendle Hill, which is the site of a famous Jacobean witch trial. When I got to the top, there was a woman wearing a black witch hat.

I walked up to her and I said, “Oh, I was hoping I would find a witch today.” She turned around and looked at me and said, “They’re still here. Their bones. Their bones are all in the ground.” I backed away slowly at that point.

BOGAEV:: You didn’t swing a dead cat or anything?

BORLIK: Would have been a good idea.

BOGAEV: Well, the book is so interesting. Thanks for that. And thanks for this. I really enjoyed talking with you.

BORLIK: Oh, it was a pleasure, Barbara. Thanks so much for having me on the show.


WITMORE: That was Todd Andrew Borlik talking to Barbara Bogev.

Shakespeare Beyond the Green World: Drama and Ecopolitics in Jacobean Britain is out now from Oxford University Press. This episode was produced by Matt Frassica with help from Kendra Hanna. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer, with help from Leonor Fernandez. We had technical help from Voice Trax West in Studio City, California. Final mixing services provided by Clean Cuts at Three Seas, Inc.

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare Unlimited, please leave us a review on your podcast platform of choice to help others find the show.

Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge in the arts.

Our building in Washington, D.C. has been under construction for the past four years. But we’re looking forward to fully reopening on June 21, 2024. You can find out more about the Folger at our website, Thanks for listening.

For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director, Michael Witmore.