Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture: "The Founders and the Bard"

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This article is about the annual Shakespeare Birthday lecture. For other articles about Shakespeare's Birthday, see Shakespeare's Birthday (disambiguation).

For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

This was a lecture given by Barbara A. Mowat on April 16, 2007.

It has become a cliché that America’s Founders “loved Shakespeare.” But what does this mean? And why should brilliant revolutionaries against British monarchy “love” the writer who is now seen by many as an apologist for Tudor and Stuart monarchical government? In this lecture Barbara Mowat looked at John Adams’, Thomas Jefferson’s, and other Founders’ writing about the Bard in the light of these questions, asking also whether or not their relationship to Shakespeare had an impact on our nation’s origins.

Lecturer: Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Executive Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, Chair of the Folger Institute, and Editor (with Paul Werstine) of the New Folger Library Shakespeare. She has served as President of the Shakespeare Association of America, President of the Southeast Renaissance Conference, and Chair of the MLA Committee on the New Variorum Shakespeare, and has for some years been a member of the Advisory Board of the International Shakespeare Conference (Stratford-upon-Avon).