Nigel Cliff On The 1849 Shakespeare Riot That Rocked New York

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Nigel Cliff On The 1849 Shakespeare Riot That Rocked New York
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Harry Ransom Center says
Nigel Cliff, author of "The Shakespeare Riots," discusses an 1849 feud in New York that turned into a full-scale riot of thousands that killed 25 people. With Bardolatry at its height, the struggle centered on the question of who "owned" Shakespeare.

“This unlikely tragedy,” says Nigel Cliff, “had its genesis in a comically bitter feud between two actors”—refined Englishman William Charles Macready and his rowdier American rival Edwin Forrest. “As they chased each other from town to town, staging competing performances and whipping up their partisans with outraged speeches, pamphlets, and letters, they unwittingly found themselves the rallying cries in a mounting cultural war between nativists and Anglophiles over America’s very identity.” READ MORE FROM OUR INTERVIEW WITH CLIFF at

Attendees may enter to win a copy of "Shakespeare in America," edited by James Shapiro and a copy of Andrea Mays's "The Millionaire and the Bard." The program is free and open to the public; donations are welcome. Seating in the Ransom Center’s Prothro Theater is first-come, first-served, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
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By: Harry Ransom Center

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