Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shakespeare Riots?

So a coworker comes over to my cube today and says, "Surely you've heard about the Shakespeare Riots?"

No, I had not.

I see there's a book about it - some scuffle in 1849 that resulted in 100 people wounded and 20 dead at Astor Place in New York City.

Anybody know the scoop?


catkins said...

Never heard of it before, but it refers to the Astor Place Riot of May 10, 1849:
Sort of a class war that was entangled in a rivalry between an English and an American Shakespearean actor. The book apparently deals with the importance of Shakespeare in post-Revolutionary America.

C. B. James said...

This was on NPR. Recently. The book has gotten decent reviews.

The two actors were associated with different gangs. This was during the Gangs of New York heydays. One actor was favored by the lower classes and was an upstart sort of guy. The other was favored by the upper echalon and was a serious, trained actor.

Both actors were very successful and toured by North America and Europe performing Shakespeare to huge audiences.

JaneFan said...

yeah, it was on NPR in the past few weeks. I have it bookmarked but haven't listened yet. cb james' description really has me intrigued.

here are links to Ju1 2, 3, and 4 NPR stories involving Shakespeare:

shakespeare riots:

who wrote shakespeare:

earl of oxford:

JaneFan said...

hmmm, looks like blogger doesn't allow links in comments. fair enough. just search for Shakespeare on