2016 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and like last year’s 450th anniversary of his birth, we are seeing a burst of Shakespeare related book creativity. I thought mine would be ready, but sadly it’s not. But, perhaps it would be better to wait, and let the commotion die down a bit.
Not only are new books coming out like, Shakespeare and the Stuff of Life: Treasures from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, due out April 21 and, Worlds Elsewhere, Journeys around Shakespeare’s Globe, no release date, so too is the book that started them all. This year the Folger Library is hosting a First Folio tour. Thankfully one of the stops is here in Reno, so I will get to see one up close!
As much as we scholars and bibliophiles are thrilled to see more Shakespeare related work appear in print, we must admit, not everyone likes to read. With this in mind, I thought I would share some non-book items that are sure to delight Bard lovers everywhere.
I’ll call this list
The Shakespeare Collectables and Game tour
If you are anything like me, books about Shakespeare are not enough. Besides Shakespeare posters my office holds many nerdy Shakespeare related items. One of my favorite toys is Shakespeare himself. What better inspiration is there to have when writing about his plays?
If having the Bard stare at you while writing sounds intimidating, you may want to go for this cute guy. Yes, he is a duck and like all good ducks, is not prone to intimidation. On the other hand, he looks like a cross between Freud and Shakespeare, so you may want to choose your words carefully while he’s around.
Then there are these, and yes I have a box, just in case you give yourself a paper cut. Once, I cut myself while reading Macbeth. Who knew I had so much blood in me? Besides stemming a tide of blood these bandages (or plasters) will teach you how to curse in poetic language.
As I write this, I’ve got a pot of cinnamon tea at my side. If you find inspiration in a cup too then you may enjoy this lovely tea pot depicting the front of Anne Hathaway’s house courtesy of the Birthplace Trust Foundation gift shop.
My favorite Shakespeare related item from the Birthplace Trust Foundation is this First Folio tea towel. It will be my first 2016 Shakespeare celebration gift to myself. And the second Shakespeare related kitchen item; the first is Shakespeare refrigerator poetry. It’s fun to play with while waiting for water to boil. But sadly, it’s taught me that I’m a better cook than poet.
Games, games, games! If you like games or know someone who spends way to much time playing Angry Birds, I think you may find one or two of these to your liking.
Coming out in October is the Stafford-upon-Avon Monopoly set! Yes, the people voted and Shakespeare’s hometown won! Cheers to them. I collect Monopoly sets and hope to add this one to my collection (hint, hint).
If you find you cannot wait until October, there is the Shakespeare Board game. I just recently heard about it and haven’t played but have heard only good things about it. This game may be a fine way to introduce Shakespeare to your friends and family.
Do you like video games? Elsinore is a new game, coming out sometime this summer. It is video game for the younger crowd. Here you get a chance to change the course history. What makes this unique and interesting is that it’s played from Ophelia’s perspective. This allows the otherwise helpless girl to take charge and set things right. You can see the trailer here: Elsinore.
This may appeal to the little ones one your list. I was never one for cut out dolls, but this is tempting.. Please don’t repeat that to anyone.
If you’ve seen an Shakespeare related item you want to share or find you must have, let us know. I have no doubt in the weeks to come, we will see more and more collectables offered as part of the 400th year celebration! Let the fun begin!