Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Time for Shakespeare's Birthday

Now, I realize nobody can really tell us the exact day of the Bard's birth, but it is a long held tradition to celebrate it right around this time of year. Some say he wrote the sonnets I've posted as a nudge toward his patron to kill his lazy ways and start doing something with his life besides party and have a good time down in Merrie Olde England. Having reread it (for the first time since college days) during the process of preparing it for print/digital art-making for you all, I came to believe the same.
Also included this time will be a portion of All's Well That Ends Well, one of his comedies. (Okay, so no one's certain if he wrote it or not, but we'll say he did, just for his day)
Best of all, I have that old portrait (not the best likeness, so I hear), in both the "rough cut" versions with no cleanup, and in the Black and White, cleaned up version. We hope you'll make use of them all in fun or for serious study, take your pick, it's up to you.
The book scanned for these images comes to us from the late Victorian era. I lost the frontispiece to this one in the shuffle of moving 2 years back, and haven't found it in among the things it was with--so far. However, I can recall it as having been a late 1800's edition, so we'll call it good.
I love its pages, so lightweight and almost see-through, with gilt edges that still retain their gloss. I suppose this must have cost a fair amount in its time. It was coming apart at both ends by the time I spotted it and gave it a home.
So Happy Birthday to "Willy the Shake" and
Happy Creativity, everybody!

Shakespeare's Portrait
Downloadable Version HERE

Sonnets, First Page
Downloadable Version HERE

All's Well That Ends Well Outtake
Downloadable Version HERE

Portrait Page--Rough Cut
Downloadable Version HERE

Scanned Imagery courtesy PPS Archives
Free for Public Domain Use


Ann said...

Rose..thank you so much for these! I have read and re-read his sonnets...the beauty in his words take me to another place !! How much pleasure you must have had when you found the book...the delicate beauty of the old pages..i wonder how many hands have turned those pages ,how many eyes have read those words? Was the book a gift from one lover to another,a friend to a friend,a parent to a child...

artistamyjo said...

Oh my,don't tell anyone, I never noticed but he looks a great deal like the fellow who cleans our Koi
Wonder if they are related...
Hugs, Amy

Plush Possum Studio said...

LOL!!! Amy, we feel so sorry for your koi pond guy!

Plush Possum Studio said...

Ann: I know how you feel. It just doesn't come any better. I have an appreciation of his work stretching back to high school days, when we performed sketches of his works. His language is so rich and vibrant, even today. A dream of mine has been to see one of his great comedies performed at London's Globe Theatre. *sigh*
As for the book, it has little thumb scoops carved from its fore edge ( say, what's their official name, anyway?), marked in abbreviated terms for each work. And it's not a very large book, no higher than a man's hand, just jam packed all through. It is a treasure.
And aren't you cool, digging our "Willy the Shake"?

Ella said...

So much beauty, words that touch upon one's soul. Thank you for sharing~

Plush Possum Studio said...

Ella: Good Morning, and welcome to PPS! We appreciate your words, here. The Bard's work is some of the very best ever created in english. It is perennial as spring, and we love it for its never ending truth.

Plush Possum Studio said...

A footnote for anyone who may have an interest:
One of the first offerings here was of the outer husk of this book. See if you can find it!

Mina said...

Oh I love William Shakespeare (if that is his real name wink wink). My favorite comedy was "Comedy of Errors." It was laugh out loud humor and I also enjoyed, "Taming of the Shrew". But my all time overall favorite was of course, "Romeo and Juliet." Thank you for posting this (maybe) Shakespeare image. I must read this one!

Plush Possum Studio said...

Mina: (wink wink)

P.S. Having only recently viewed a series by Michael Wood called (I think) In Search of William Shakespeare, I have a feeling we maybe haven't thought about the times he lived thru enough. Also, I think Wood's take to be pretty well thought out, but for one little fault: how much of it was CO-written, and could that earl someone thinks to be the real Bard have merely been the collaborator to several of his projects? We'll probably never find out.
Still would like to recommend that series, tho', as it made real sense in parts of stuff that I thought was too vague.
Have you seen it?

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