Shakes and Peers

a guide to the world of Early Modern drama





  • Dr. Emma Smith’s Approaching Shakespeare and Not Shakespeare series on ItunesU are a great way of beginning to approach the Early Modern plays in a scholarly way!
  • The Huntington’s Shakespeare and His World lectures with guests
  • Staging Shakespeare is also the work of Oxford and focuses on Shakespearean performance
  • Warwick University and the Shakespeare Birthplace trust collaborated on this series about Shakespeare’s life and times
  • A great tool for cultural materialists and new historians, BBC produces this delightful though often dry podcast that helps us imagine Shakespeare’s world more complexly.

Feed your curiosity:

  • Chop Bard a delicious look at the physical natures of Shakespeare
  • Produced by the Folger Library, Shakespeare Unlimited  discusses how Shakespeare interacts with the modern artistic world. This series is easily of the most comprehensive and varied sources for looking at Shakespeare today.





Shakes and Peers in performance:

  • Director of the RSC John Barton’s Playing Shakespeare series, a great, though dated 80s style introduction to  acting Shakespeare starring Judi Dench,  Ben Kingsley, Ian McKellen, and other British favorites. It’s also available in book form.
  • Antony Sher, famous British Shakespearean, has written a number of books/ diaries about working on productions and constructing characters that give invaluable insight into how Shakespeare is brought to contemporary theatre.


  • One of the best guides to Shakespeare’s histories, Shakespeare’s English Kings comes recommended by the Head of LAMDA Rodney Cottier as the best companion to the Bard’s politics.
  • In the Genius of Shakespeare Jonathan Bate, a preeminent Shakespeare scholar, looks at the Shakespeare’s legacy.
  • In Soul of the Age, Bate uses cultural materialism and the seven ages of man to explore what Shakespeare’s life looked like.
  • In Staging the World, Bate once again uses historical artefacts and documents to foster a broader understanding what what Shakespeare’s stage would have looked like

Other Academic Favorites:

Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought

Shakespearean Negotiations

The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England

Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory

Impersonations: The Performance of Gender in Shakespeare’s England


Albaric, Kléber. Un Médecin Ebroïcien Jacques Duval: Son Traité Des Hermaphrodites: (1555 – 1615?). Paris: Le François, 1934. Print.

Broecke, Marcel Peter René. Ortelius Atlas Maps: an Illustrated Guide. HES, 1996. Print.

Coryat, Thomas. Coryat’s Crudities, 2 vols. Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1905. Print.

Crooke, Helkiah, Caspar Bauhin, and André Du Laurens. Mikrokosmographia a Description of the Body of Man: Together with the Controversies and Figures Thereto Belonging. London: Printed by R.C. and Are to Be Sold by Iohn Clarke …, 1651. Print.

Heertum, Cis Van, and Joseph Swetnam. A Critical Edition of Joseph Swetnam’s The Araignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women (1615). Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Cicero, 1989. Print.

Hic Mulier: Or, The Man-vvoman Being a Medicine to Cure the Coltish Disease of the Staggers in the Masculine-feminines of Our Times. Exprest in a Briefe Declamation. London: Printed for I. T and Are to Be Sold at Christ Church Gate, 1620. Print.

Parry, Vernon J. Richard Knolles’ History of the Turks. Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey, 2003. Print.

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