The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“Lusty” sack possets, fertility, and the foodways of early modern weddings

A guest post by Sasha Handley Take ye yolks of 14 Egs & six whites & boyle them very well strain them into a pewter Bason put a quarte of a pint of Sack to them a grated nutmeg a little senemond [cinnamon] as much white shuger as you thinke fitt sett them upon a chafin dish of charcoles keep it stiring till it is prety hot lett a quart of milke boyle up upon the fier put a peece of butter and two sponefulls of shuger in it when the egs are hott power in the milke upon them then cover it up presently close and lett it stand a quarter of an hower then sett it upon a cold stone This recipe for “sack posset,” dating to c.1672, can be found in the recipe book of Constance Hall in the Folger Shakespeare Library.… Continue Reading

Mellow Yellow and 50 Shades of Grey: the challenges of bi-tonal images

Well, I’m afraid our mystery image might have been a little too mysterious. For those of you still playing along, the mystery image from last week is an image from a microfilm of Folger MS D.a.6 that seems to show multiple pages on top of each other. Here is the full double page opening for context: Doesn’t help much, does it?… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: February 2020

Welcome back to our monthly Crocodile Mystery! For those of you (ahem) mystified by this designation for our reoccurring series of posts, take a look at the post where it was named! For the question this month, we’re returning to our roots and asking “what manner of thing is this?” aka what is going on here? what do you notice about the image below?… Continue Reading

Ben Greet: “Thank God for Henry Clay Folger”

A guest post by Stephen Grant First, a most Happy New Year to you all! I’m sure that 2020 is the beginning of a big decade for the Folger!! And I can’t wait until the Folger Centennial in 2032!!! For the first 2020 post in the series “Postcards in the Folger Archives,” dear Collators, we’ll try something new. We’ll pick a friend of both Henry and Emily Folger and follow a timeline.… Continue Reading

Sizing Shakespeare’s Sonnets

A guest post by Faith Acker I still remember the first rare book I handled in a library. It was Thomas Caldecott’s copy of the Shake-speares Sonnets. Neuer before imprinted (Thomas Thorpe, 1609) a beautiful quarto that Caldecott presented to the Bodleian Library in 1833, and that the Bodleian allowed me to hold and read while I was working on my M.Litt.… Continue Reading

The Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Verse Miscellany

A guest post by Betty Schellenberg Recently I’ve been exploring the very active literary lives of eighteenth-century lower gentry and middle-class individuals. Many of these socially obscure people not only composed and exchanged verse in manuscript form within their own social networks, but also copied out and arranged contemporary poetry that they found in printed sources. My primary evidence for this is the manuscript verse miscellany.… Continue Reading

Happy New Year (by one calendar anyway)

We’re well aware that around the world, and across time, there are many calendars (boy howdy do we know that), but if the calendar that you use is about to change over to January 1, 2020, we wish you a wonderful and happy new year! We’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled content!… Continue Reading

December Greetings

As we pass the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days grow longer at last (apologies to our readers in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s all down hill for you), we wanted to take a moment and wish all of our readers a safe and peaceful winter holiday season. As many of you know, there are some exciting changes coming to the Folger in 2020 and beyond (learn more about our planned construction), but rest assured that The Collation will still be here with our regular(ish) posting schedule.… Continue Reading

The Wandering Soul: On Meeting Theadora Wilkin

A guest post by William Cook Miller While at the Folger Shakespeare Library over the summer, I came across a manuscript so exciting, so intriguing, so multifaceted, that I spent a full week combing through it, photographing it, trying to crack its mysteries. That manuscript is by a little-known—or rather, as far as I have been able to find, totally unknown—writer named Theadora Wilkin, and it bears the daunting title, The WANDERING SOUL in Conference with ADAM, NOAH, and SIMON CLEOPAS (Folger MS W.a.131-132) While the manuscript is not dated, it was probably a work long in progress.… Continue Reading

No Standard Oil Company? No Shakespeare Collection!

A Guest Post by Stephen Grant A decade ago when I was determining angles to consider in approaching Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger, some readers—perhaps at 3 pm Folger tea—recommended I write only on the Folgers as collectors. As I was writing the very first biography of the couple, I finally decided it made little sense to focus on how they spent their money at the neglect of how they earned it in the first place.… Continue Reading