The Bard Debunked: An Annotated Bibliography of 19th Century Parodies of Shakespeare heftetEngelsk, 2015


Shakespeare was incredibly popular in nineteenth-century America, where the theater was both a source of entertainment and debating ground for those with differing political opinions.

Just as popular as the Bard's works-or perhaps more so-were the many burlesques and parodies of Shakespeare, especially in the 1840s, when relationships between the United States and Great Britain were strained at best.

The use of Shakespearian parodies to score political points was common on both sides of the Atlantic. In the United Sates, the great Shakespearian rivalry erupted in New York's Astor Place Riot, an event sparked by the working class love of an American actor over New York gentility's support of his British rival. The resulting chaos left dozens of people dead, many more injured, and cemented the division of American theater productions by class.

In The Bard Debunked, authors Claudia Durst Johnson and Henry E. Jacobs offer a humorous but comprehensive annotated bibliography of nineteenth-century Shakespearian burlesques, supported by an insightful opening article explaining the role such parodies had in shaping American views on social class, world politics, and Shakespeare himself.