Emeritus Professor Ian Donaldson and Professor Ian Gadd, The Death of Shakespeare – The University of Adelaide Free Public Lecture

The Death of Shakespeare Public Lecture

Date: Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Elder Hall, The University of Adelaide
Cost: Free but Bookings essential by Wednesday 21 April, 2016. Please click here to register your attendance

This year the world celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare’s Legacy

At the time of his death on 23 April1616 Shakespeare was far from a celebrity. Beyond the country town of Stratford where he had been born and now was buried, his death appears to have occasioned little interest or attention. None of his fellow-poets chose to mourn his passing; no gatherings in his honour were held; no contemporary references to his death have survived. Why did the final exit of the man now acclaimed as the world’s most famous writer not attract more resounding applause? How was Shakespeare’s reputation established in the years after his death? How did his fame spread–through Europe, the British Empire, globally?

Speaker: Emeritus Professor Ian Donaldson, University of Melbourne
Response: Professor Ian Gadd, Bath Spa University
Musical Performance: Adelaide Baroque (Emma Horwood: Soprano; Anne Gardiner: Harpsichord; Graham Strahle: Viola da amba; Jayne Varnish: Recorders)
Chair: Dr Lucy Potter, The University of Adelaide

Emeritus Professor Ian Donaldson, FBA FRSE FAHA has had an outstanding academic and professional career and is one of Australia’s most energetic and effective champions of the importance and value of the Humanities. Currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, he has previously been Fellow and Lecturer of Wadham College, Oxford (1962-9), a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge (1995-2005), and has chaired the English Faculties of both these Universities. He was also Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, Edinburgh University, perhaps the most distinguished and certainly the oldest Chair of English Language and Literature in the world. Resigning his Oxford fellowship to return to Australia in 1969, he was Professor of English at the ANU and also Head of Department (1969-91).

In the last three years Professor Donaldson has produced two related publications, the culmination of a life-time of scholarly work: his authoritative biography, Ben Jonson: A Life (Oxford: OUP, 2011), and his General Editorship of the Cambridge Edition of The Works of Ben Jonson (Cambridge: CUP, 2012). The Cambridge Works has been praised in the London Review of Books as ‘[a] formidable enterprise’ while the Times Literary Supplement has described it as an ‘outstanding edition’ and an ‘invaluable scholarly resource’. The biography, Ben Jonson: A Life, has also been published to critical acclaim.

Ian Gadd is Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University and President of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), the largest scholarly society in the world devoted to the study of the history of the book. His research focuses on the printing and publishing of books in England in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was the Charlton Hinman Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, in 2011.