In addition to marking the Bard's 459th birthday, Shakespeare experts and enthusiasts have much to celebrate in 2023, a year which sees the 400th anniversary of both Anne Shakespeare’s death and the publication of the First Folio, the first collected works of Shakespeare. The Birthday Lecture, which is being hosted at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford, will celebrate and explore these important anniversaries.
The Birthday Lecture will feature academics from the University of Birmingham. Dr Chris Laoutaris, Senior Lecturer in Shakespeare, will explore the people who created the First Folio, and Tiffany Stern, Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama will explain what the many mistakes in the First Folio can tell us.
They will be joined by Professor Katherine Scheil from the University of Minneapolis, who will provide a new interpretation of Anne Shakespeare’s epitaph considering newly discovered details about its creation and Professor Charlotte Scott, Director of Knowledge and Engagement at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning and Research at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will chair the discussion.
I can think of no better way of bringing together Shakespeare enthusiasts from different backgrounds, communities and nationalities in one common celebration of all that the Bard and Anne Shakespeare mean to us in this quatercentenary year.Dr Chris Laoutaris, the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
The Birthday Lecture forms part of the wider one-day conference, with visitors having the opportunity to visit The Great Variety of Readers: 400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibition and attend the launch of Broken Sleep Books’ new publication Anne-thology: Poems Representing Anne Shakespeare.
Dr Chris Laoutaris said: “The Shakespeare Birthday Lecture and day of exciting anniversary events at the Shakespeare Institute is an important means of commemorating both Anne Shakespeare in her own right and the creation of one of history's most important secular books: the 1623 First Folio. I can think of no better way of bringing together Shakespeare enthusiasts from different backgrounds, communities and nationalities in one common celebration of all that the Bard and Anne Shakespeare mean to us in this quatercentenary year. We are grateful to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for co-curating this significant series of events with us."
Professor Tiffany Stern said: “The day promises to be revelatory about Shakespeare and his print collaborators, on the one hand, and Shakespeare and his life collaborator, Anne Hathaway, on the other. I’m thrilled to be a part of this and can’t wait to share ideas with my wonderful colleagues and our visitors.”
The Shakespeare Birthday Lecture and one day conference takes place on Friday 21st April from 9.30am. People can attend either online, or in person. Tickets are available through the Shakespeare Birthday Trust website.