May 29, 2012

Actors of Hamlet from the mid-nineteenth century, in another image from the Yale Center for British Art exhibition, While These Visions Did Appear.   As we have seen already, with Henrietta Bowdler’s The Family Shakespeare, from 1807, and with prints like “The Lover of Shakespeare,” where Shakespeare sits alongside the embroidery table and harp in the parlor, by the early nineteenth century Shakespeare had entered into the well-ordered English household, there to play with or educate the children, or to lift the mind and spirits of other family members.

Charles Hunt, Children Acting the ‘Play Scene’ from “Hamlet,” Act II, Scene ii, 1863. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

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