Leeds University Library

For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire

Published Monday 5 September 2016

Title page wording Written by Wil. Shake-speare. Gent.

Rare items new to Treasures Gallery

An exhibition celebrating the legacy of William Shakespeare is to launch at Treasures Gallery. Rare items from Special Collections will be on display.

Poet Ian McMillan will open For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire on 6th September.

On show for the first time is a rare set of Shakespeare's Folios - the earliest collections of his work.

The exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death. It looks at how Shakespeare dramatised Yorkshire history, and explores how directors are still using his work to ask questions about regional identity.

It brings together material collected by the Library's greatest benefactor, Lord Brotherton of Wakefield.

One item on display is A Yorkshire Tragedie, about a murder in Calverley, near Leeds. This book had Shakespeare's name on the title page but was in fact by another writer.

Co-curator Kit Heyam said: "As a northern lad who loves Shakespeare, I was thrilled to be able to dig deep into his relationship with Yorkshire when curating this exhibition.

"So many of Shakespeare's most dramatic stories are stories of Yorkshire, and our county's actors and theatres have a longstanding love affair with his plays."

The rare set of the Four Folios were collected in just four years by Lord Brotherton (1856-1930). The Folios date from 1623, only seven years after Shakespeare's death, up until 1685. They show the development of language and printing aesthetics during the seventeenth century.

Dr Stella Butler, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, said: "By bringing together this material for public display we are sharing Shakespeare's legacy with Yorkshire.

"As the title of the exhibition states, borrowed from Ben Jonson's tribute on Shakespeare's death, Shakespeare is "not of an age, but for all time."