“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: March 2013

I’m a bit early with the March crocodile, but sometimes it’s hard not to wish February done. And so here’s another variation on our crocodile mystery theme, this time asking you not what an item is, but what it might be. It wouldn’t take long to guess that this is some sort of box, so I’m not going to ask what it is. (It’s a box.)

One of the things to like about boxes is that they hide what is inside them. There’s a world of possibilities in the moment before you open a box. Perhaps it’s akin to the world of possibilities we encounter before we open a book for the first time, or see an item we’ve called up from the stacks. Sometimes that moment of curiosity and anticipation is the driving force behind pleasure and scholarly research. Think of this, then, as a crocodile that prompts you to imagine what might be: what will you find when you open the box? And what would you put in this box, to hide it away?


2013-02-25 12.38.54

Author: Sarah Werner

SARAH WERNER is Digital Media Strategist at the Folger Shakespeare Library and Editor of The Collation, and formerly the Library's Undergraduate Program Director. She blogs about books and reading, writes about modern performance and Renaissance drama, and is known in some corners of the web as @wynkenhimself.


  1. If I had to put a mystery in a box, I would put it in this one. Wait until next week when I open it for you. http://t.co/A8UtEZ8YMU

  2. Is it just me, or does the image on the box do a Rabbit/Duck thing where it looks like part of the Globe Theatre one way, and like two thick books side-by-side on a shelf the other? As for what I’d keep in the box, I’d use it to store all the scenery, costumes, and props necessary for a Flea Circus to perform Shakespeare’s plays.

  3. I can definitely see that.

    My assumption is that it is a later version of Hakewill’s travelling libraries (http://www.jstor.org/stable/41154575), with in this case a set of Shakepeare’s plays.

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