For this year’s Culture Night on Friday 16th September, UCC’s School of English and UCC Library’s Special Collections invites you to discover the texts that inspired William Shakespeare’s greatest works.
In a unique event, Dr Edel Semple (Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies) will deliver a public lecture on “Shakespeare’s Sources and the Boole Library’s Resources” at 6pm in the Boole Library, Research Skills Room (level Q-1). This illustrated talk will explore Shakespeare’s use of his sources and offer an insight into book history using the Library’s rare, early printed books. A range of texts will be examined from the history book the Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland by Holinshed that Shakespeare consulted for Richard II and Henry V, to The Discovery of Witchcraft which influenced Macbeth, to John Lyly’s comedies that inspired Shakespeare’s romantic comedies.
The talk will consider the materiality of these sixteenth and seventeenth century books, from their printing and binding to their handwritten notes, doodles, and bookworm holes that can reveal much about Shakespeare’s world, the history of the volumes, and their use by readers since the Elizabethan era. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the “Cervantes ‘Prince of Wits’ (1616-2016): Life, Work Legacy” exhibition on its final night in the Boole Library.
The talk is part of the British Council “Shakespeare Lives” programme that commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year. Further events for Shakespeare 400 are planned to take place in Cork in October and November, and details will appear on this blog in due course.