World First Shakespeare in Spain? Bard's last play found at seminary
The new Covid-19 case surge in Europe, explained
“My worry is that it’s a long winter.” Help keep Vox free for all Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work.
It was hidden away for centuries in the archives of a seminary in Spain, a rare edition of a Shakespeare play experts believe may be the earliest copy of his work to reach the country.
Published in 1634, "The Two Noble Kinsmen" is a tragicomedy about love, enmity and madness written by Shakespeare in collaboration with Jacobean playwright John Fletcher.
'Circuit break': PM considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections
Boris Johnson is considering the introduction of new national restrictions - possibly as soon as next week - as the prime minister races to try and get a handle on the spread of coronavirus. With COVID-19 cases now doubling every seven to eight days, the government is looking at introducing nationwide restrictions for a short period to try to "short-circuit" the virus and slow the spread of the disease. Government figures stressed the plans being drawn up stopped short of a full national lockdown, as seen in the spring, when the country was told to "stay at home".
"It's likely the play reached Spain between 1635 and 1640," said John Stone, a lecturer in English studies at Barcelona University who discovered it at the Royal Scots College, a seminary in the northwestern town of Salamanca founded after the Catholic Church was outlawed in Scotland.
Collections of English works were rare in Spain and plays were exceptional in the 17th and 18th centuries, with all books subjected to inspection at the frontier by the Spanish Inquisition, particularly those from a heretical Protestant state like England.
The tragicomedy was part of a single volume of eight English plays printed from 1630 to 1635 that was likely brought over by a traveller and managed to escape falling into the hands of the Inquisition.
Want a Graduate English Degree from University of Chicago? This Year You'll Be in Black Studies, Too
One of the top graduate English programs in the country is accepting Black Studies scholars for the 2020-2021 admissions period.In July, the UChicago graduate program published a Faculty Statement expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement—which became the largest protest in United States history in the days and weeks following the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes.
"I was going through the section on political economy and on the last shelf, I saw a book that was distinct in its binding from pretty-well anything else," Stone told AFP.
Having written his dissertation on Shakespeare in Spain, he realised its importance immediately.
"I knew the moment I saw it that it was the oldest copy of Shakespeare in Spain," said the Canadian researcher.
"The question was whether it had been the first Shakespearean text to reach Spain."
- Under nose of Inquisition -
Until now, the earliest known work of Shakespeare in Spain was a compilation of plays found at the Jesuit English College in Valladolid that likely arrived in the late 1640s or early 1650s.
It was sold in the 1920s to Henry Clay Folger, a wealthy American industrialist who went on to found the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.
Clues as to when "The Two Noble Kinsmen" arrived lay in the margin notes made by Hugh Semple, a politically-ambitious Scottish Jesuit who was rector of the Royal Scots College.
The best themed streaming services, from anime to arthouse
Crunchyroll or Funimation? Acorn or Britbox? Criterion or Mubi? Go beyond Netflix and Hulu with our guide to niche streaming platforms.Since they aren’t trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, these boutique services can offer carefully curated selections that cater to the special interests of their viewers. But because these services also tend to fly under the radar, it's not always easy to know what’s out there. So we've put together a rundown of some of our favorites.
"The handwriting tells us it arrived in Semple's lifetime and he died in the early 1650s," Stone said of this "highly-networked individual" who was friends with Spanish playwright Lope de Vega and known for being able to bring in English books.
His international ties were "very active" in the mid-1630s when he "would have had a great opportunity to import the book," Stone said, suggesting it may have been brought over by a London-based Scottish aristocrat who was liaising between the English and Spanish monarchs.
Although the Royal Scots College was located in central Madrid at the time, right under the nose of the Inquisition, there was no sign its "eclectic mix of English books" was ever noticed by the Holy Office.
It is unclear whether the Shakespeare play was ever performed or used as part of the college's curriculum although Stone said theatre was often used as part of Jesuit teaching.
Stone is now working with a book historian to see if the binding or stitching of the volume could offer further definitive clues as to when it arrived.
Fragile hopes in DR Congo's Ituri province, scarred by conflict .
"The future is dark," sighs Joachim Lobo, a teacher who longs "to pick up the chalk" and be reunited with his pupils, if ever peace is restored to northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. "The future is dark," Papa Joachim says."I lost my job because of all this nonsense," Lobo says of communal violence in the gold-rich Ituri province, where he taught French and philosophy, speaking with a restraint and modesty characteristic of Congolese people in the face of suffering.