In addition to wanting to "clasp Shakespeare's hand," Dickinson wrote, "Why is any other book needed?" Readers have felt that way for centuries. His plays are performed more than any other writer's. His sonnets set the standard for all poetry that came after. His writing has been translated into every major language and is taught in every school. "Wild-goose chase." "Green-eyed monster." "Love is blind." "Break the ice." Shakespeare coined them all. And many other expressions we use every day. There is a monument to him in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. But he lies buried in Stratford-upon-Avon, his bones protected by a curse from being disturbed. Shakespeare is, not surprisingly, one of our most popular stickers. It is made of...
Credit: Screengrab from Glynnis Fawkes, Medium This is an illustration from an exceptional piece in Medium by Glynnis Fawkes. In it, Brontë visits a modern-day yoga studio and expresses surprise at how life has changed. It's beautiful drawn, funny, and perceptive as heck. Fawkes is clearly a huge Brontë fan. A wonderful fantasy, wonderfully brought to life.
I somehow found a paper bookmark publicizing this amazing independent bookstore in Venice. Because the city periodically floods, the books are kept in bathtubs or even boats (a gondola, in one photo I've come across). In the photo on the bookmark, the owner, whose name I believe is Luigi Frizzo, is wearing Wellington boots. There are many beautiful bookstores in the world, especially in Italy, but this one is special without a doubt. I don't believe they have a website, but you can follow them on Facebook ((Libreria Aqua Alta) and Instagram (@libreriaacquaalta). Would I love to visit!
An interesting article at bbc.com by Rebecca Laurence about how Mary Shelley's novel continues to shape culture some 200 years after it was published. Laurence notes that an anxiety about science and technology is as true today as in Shelley's day. After you read it, maybe you'll want to put a sticker of this incredibly influential writer on the window of your car. We have Shelley in B&W and color, for $5.95 each, shipping included. (Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was also incredibly influential--we have her, too.)
Great May 25 article at bbc.com by Miriam Quick. She describes two recent projects that used data mining to show that that every book in the world uses one of six basic plots. And then she diagrams them, including Pride and Prejudice, which I've screen-grabbed for you above. Check it out here.