269 Shakespeare and the Generation of Genius (with Robin Lithgow)

Robin Lithgow spent her life immersed in the performing arts, including a childhood in the theater and decades spent as an educator and arts administrator. But it wasn’t until she read a little-known work by Erasmus that she fully realized the importance that performance had on Shakespeare and his generation–which mirrored the experiences she had had as an English and drama teacher in inner-city schools in Los Angeles. In this special episode, Robin joins Jacke to talk about her life in the theater, her epiphanies regarding Shakespeare’s education, and the centrality of the performing arts in a child’s development.

ROBIN LITHGOW was the first Theatre Adviser, and eventually the Director, of the Arts Education Branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the United States. Before becoming an arts administrator, she was a teacher for twenty-one years, teaching every grade level from kindergarten through senior high school and ending her classroom tenure as an English and drama teacher. And before that, she was the daughter of Arthur Lithgow, a theater impresario who developed Shakespeare festivals all over Ohio, which meant that Robin and her younger brother John Lithgow, the acclaimed actor, grew up traveling from place to place, watching rehearsals and performances, as their father mounted productions of every play in the Shakespearean canon.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.comjackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now you can at paypal.me/jackewilson. Your generosity is much appreciated!

The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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265 Forgotten Women of Literature 3 – Aemilia Lanyer

The “Forgotten Women of Literature” series continues with a look at Aemilia Bassano Lanyer (1569-1545), the first Englishwoman to publish a volume of poetry, the protofeminist Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, which tells the story of Christ’s crucifixion from a woman’s perspective. In addition to her many accomplishments and incredible life story, Lanyer has tantalizingly close connections to William Shakespeare, leading Jacke (and other scholars) to speculation about whether she might have been the inspiration for the Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now you can at paypal.me/jackewilson. Your generosity is much appreciated!

The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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259 Shakespeare’s Best | Sonnets 129 and 130 (“Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame” and “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”)

In the fourth and final installment of A Month of Shakespearean Sonnets, Jacke takes a look at two sonnets from the Dark Lady sequence, Sonnet 129 (“Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame”) and Sonnet 130 (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”). Listen to the Shakespeare whom poet Don Paterson described as giving us “a terrific display of self-directed fury, raging away in the little cage of the sonnet like a spitting wildcat.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now you can at paypal.me/jackewilson. Your generosity is much appreciated!

The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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253 Shakespeare’s Best | Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”)

What did Shakespeare do when the bubonic plague shut down London’s theaters? Apparently he wrote poetry instead, including some or all of his 154 sonnets. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”) to see whether the poem deserves its reputation as one of Shakespeare’s greatest. Can it still be read today? And if so, what does it have to offer us?

Help support the show at www.patreon.com/literature or www.historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

The History of Literature Podcast is a member of the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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228 England vs France – A Literary Battle Royale

“Our dear enemies,” a French writer once said of the English. Englishman John Cleese called them “our natural enemies” and joked “if we have to fight anyone, I say let’s fight the French.” With the exception of a few big twentieth-century alliances, the French and the English have been at each others’ throats for a thousand years. Occasionally this has meant taking up arms and fighting for land or religion or rule. But what about culture? What if the battlefield were a literary one? What if supremacy was determined not by the sword but by the pen? In this episode, Jacke and Mike choose their sides and get ready to wage a literary battle between two proud, rivalrous, and highly literate nations.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

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222 The Best of the Bard: Top 10 Greatest Lines in Shakespeare

When was The Bard at his best? How great did the GOAT get? Hall-of-fame guest Mike Palindrome, the President of the Literature Supporters Club, joins Jacke for a discussion of the Top 10 Greatest Lines of Shakespeare.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

Music Credits:

“Bluesy Vibes Sting” and “Running Fanfare” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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210 More John Keats!

John Keats (1795-1821) was born in humble circumstances, the son of a man who took care of horses at a London inn, and he died in near obscurity. We know him today as onen of a handful of the greatest poets who ever lived.

Part Two of our look at John Keats discusses his impact on Jorge Luis Borges; his poems On First Reading Chapman’s Homer; his passion for Shakespeare (including his invention of the concept of Negative Capability). Along the way we look at Shelley and Byron and their attitudes toward Keats; the savage reviews Keats received; his trip to Rome; his two great loves; his death; and what might be his greatest poem, “Ode to a Nightingale.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

Music Credits:

“Allemande Sting” and “Ersatz Bossa Sting” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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193 Macbeth

It’s been called “the great Shakespearean play of stage superstition and uncanniness.” It’s also one of Shakespeare’s four major tragedies, and for more than four hundred years it’s proved horrifying to audiences and captivating to scholars. And it’s a perfect play for October, with witches and prophesies, murder and mayhem, and a madly ambitious would-be king and his fiendish paramour. In this special Halloween episode, host Jacke Wilson takes a look at Shakespeare’s Macbeth: its origins, its inspirations, and the moments of what Dr. Johnson called Shakespeare’s “touches of judgment and genius.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

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156 The Sonnet

“A sonnet,” said the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “is a moment’s monument.” But who invented the sonnet? Who brought it to prominence? How has it changed over the years? And why does this form continue to be so compelling? In this episode of the History of Literature, we take a brief look at one of literature’s most enduring forms, from its invention in a Sicilian court to the wordless sonnet and other innovative uses.

Professor Bill walked us through a sonnet by Robert Hayden in Episode 97 – Dad Poetry (with Professor Bill).

One of the world’s great sonneteers, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, had her moment in Episode 95 – The Runaway Poets – The Triumphant Love Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the lovers whose first words to one another magically form a perfect sonnet, found one another in Episode 53 – Romeo and Juliet.

Support the show at patreon.com/literature. Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

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148 Great Literary Hoaxes

What can we count on? What do we know is true? In this episode, host Jacke Wilson takes a look at a motley crew of inventive liars who set out to fool the literary world – and often did, at least for a while. From the ancient pseudo-Sappho to the escapee from a debauched convent, from the  treasure trove of Shakespeare’s lost works to the balloon fraud of Edgar Allen Poe, writers have been generating bogus works for centuries – and an gullible public has gobbled them up and come back for more.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature. Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC.

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