Courtesy of William Shakespeare

Folger Shakespeare by DG Rosetti

Portrait of Shakespeare, ca. 1865 [FPm1 (Bd.w. PR2842 1709 copy 3 Ex.ill.). Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License]

In case you hadn’t heard, last Saturday, April 23, marked the four-hundredth anniversary (also known as the quadricentennial) of William Shakespeare’s death. There was much to-do about it in dramatic, literary, and historical circles, and for good reason: The English language, and humankind itself, owes a great debt to the Bard, whose influence persists more than four centuries after his plays hit the London stage.

The staggering scope of that influence is impossible to chronicle in a single blog post, so we’ll let Sir Ian McKellen—whose Shakespearean roles include Hamlet, Romeo, Macbeth, Richard III, Iago, King Lear, and Coriolanus—sum it up for us. Continue reading

Soundtrack for Summer Reading: A Literary Playlist


Summer is just around the corner, and that can only mean one thing: road trip! Of course you’ll need plenty of reading material to keep you company in the car, on the beach, by the lake, or in the hammock. Need help packing your book tote? Bas Bleu has you covered!

But aside from great books (and lots of sunscreen), no summer road trip is complete without good tunes. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a special literary playlist just for you. Continue reading