Author: James Harriman Smith

Les Circulations Musicales et Théâtrales, 1750-1815

I’m writing this early one afternoon in Paris. The sky is grey, the air is cold, and Nice feels even further away than a six hour train journey. I’ve decided to compose a little post on my time in this city, both to record some of the new thoughts the…

Adventures in the BNF

I spend a lot of time in libraries, but have – shockingly – never really written about them on this blog. This post will change that, as I’ve spent the last week familiarising myself with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (or, as everyone calls it, the BNF, pronounced ‘bay-enn-eff’), and…

A Stirling Conference (III)

This wil be my last post, and will be just as egocentric as the last two. It will also deal with plenaries. Following on from de Grazia, the next eminent scholar to speak was Colin Burrow of All Souls, Oxford (charmingly mis-titled, All Scouts’ College). He spoke on ‘Shakespeare’s Authorities’,…

A Stirling Conference (I)

I’ve just got back from the biannual meeting of the British Shakespeare Association (BSA) in Stirling, just outside Edinburgh. Hence the pun in my title, which even the Bard would blush at, despite its accuracy as a description of what was an immensely enjoyable few days in the beautiful scenery…

On having your pencil ready

I have been reading Joseph Roach‘s Cities of the Dead recently. It’s amazing, and I’m learning a great deal. While there will probably be a blog post dedicated to the text in the near(ish) future, I wanted to write today about something else instead. It all begins with an innocuous…

Update

I’ve let things languish here a little, but my excuse is that I am (still) writing a great deal elsewhere, and simply don’t have the time to put pen to paper (keyboard to blog?) these days. That said, this post is about all the other stuff I am writing, it’s…

Commemorating Shakespeare

To join in the celebrations of Shakespeare’s birthday, here is a repost of something I wrote in 2012 for the Royal Shakesepare Company as part of their ‘Happy Birthday Shakespeare’ collection. The date of an author’s death is always more important than that of his birth. This is not to…

Metaphors for writing

I’m busy writing the first draft of chapter one, and so have had neither time nor inclination to write much for this blog of late. That said, all my thesis-scribbling did inspire this post, for it occurred to me, as I sketched the umpteenth plan for spending this section’s allotted…

The Doppelganger

I want to tell you today about a fear, common, I suspect, to every PhD student at one time or another. It is the worry that somewhere, out there in another university, another country, another continent, there is someone doing the same research as you. Your doppelganger. It may be…

Editors and Actors: Malone

This is the final, brief and incomplete summary of an editor whose works I am studying for the first chapter of my thesis. It’s taken me a long time to get here, Malone’s 1790 edition of The Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare, since setting out from a summary of…

Carpets

I have a document on my computer where I jot down ideas for blog posts. In this place, my thoughts about Benedict Cumberbatch, Love, Death, and talking about my research languished until recently. Now, I have just two topics left. One involves carpets, the other is about a Japanese anime…

What are you working on?

“What’s your research about?” “Err…” I think this is a fairly common situation for someone doing a PhD, and I know for sure that it’s something I’ve struggled with. This blog has a ‘big picture‘ page, which, in quite a lot of words, gives you a breakdown of what I…

On Death

  A cheery subject to start 2014, I know. I’m going to be giving a lecture at the English Faculty in mid-January (which I’ll probably post a recording of here too), entitled ‘The Death of the Actor: Shakespeare and Tragedy in the Eighteenth Century’. Before writing the whole thing, however,…

The Contrivances

A cross section of Drury Lane. Harry Carey’s The Contrivances has a problem: the severe lack of what I will call dramatic tension. Admittedly, as an afterpiece to be performed in a rowdy and perhaps intellectually satiated theatre, I suppose suspense is not an absolute requirement. Still, it would have…

Editors and Actors: Johnson

Reynolds’ 1769 portrait of Johnson, capturing the man’s odd gesticulations. Of all the editors I am reading for my first chapter, Samuel Johnson both excites and terrifies me the most. There’s just something so distinctive about his way of writing: the preface to his edition, first published in 1765, is…

Editors and Actors: Theobald

I’ve returned to Shakespeare’s editors, continuing the groundwork to chapter one begun at the end of summer. Having gone through Rowe and Pope, it was now the turn of Theobald. The UL had the first volume of his 1733 edition, but the rest I had to squint at on the…

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search