Only a few scraps of new material relating to William Shakespeare in his lifetime have surfaced over the past century. Our speaker, Dr. Heather Wolfe, however, has uncovered nearly a dozen previously unknown records at the College of Arms and other libraries illuminating another aspect of the playwright as social climber.
These documents relate to the granting of a coat of arms to Shakespeare's father in 1596, attesting his status as a gentleman. Dr. Wolfe's discoveries began in the records of the College of Arms, the heraldic authority for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in London.
Heather Wolfe, one of the world’s leading experts on early modern English manuscripts, is Curator of Manuscripts and Archivist at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She is principal investigator for EMMO (Early Modern Manuscripts Online), a project to create a free and searchable database of images and transcriptions of early modern manuscripts created in England or written in English, and curator of the online exhibition, Shakespeare Documented, a repository of images, descriptions, and transcriptions o documents and printed texts that refer or allude to Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s works, and Shakespeare’s family in their lifetimes. She teaches paleography (the study of early modern handwriting) across the US, and has published widely on the intersections between manuscript and print in the period.
The College of Arms Foundation is pleased to co-sponsor this presentation in partnership with the Committee on Heraldry of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society.
A reception will follow the presentation.
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