Yay! Got my Shakespeare project shout-out!
The Happy Birthday Shakespeare project isn't just any old Shakespeare-flavored joint, it is administered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - their domain name is shakespeare.org.uk. You cannot get more authentically big bad Billish than that.
To quote Wiki:
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) is an independent registered educational charity based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, that came into existence in 1847 following the purchase of William Shakespeare's birthplace for preservation as a national memorial. It can also lay claim to be the oldest conservation society in Britain. Receiving no government funding or public subsidies, it is totally dependent upon the public for support, and relies on donations and the income generated from visitors.
The SBT is considered the most significant Shakespeare charity in the world, and endeavours to internationally promote the appreciation and study of the plays and other works of William Shakespeare, and general advancements of Shakespearian knowledge. The Trust maintains and preserves the Shakespeare Birthplace properties, a museum, library of books, manuscripts, records of historic interest, pictures, photographs and objects of antiquity with particular reference to the life and times of William Shakespeare, and is also home to the headquarters of the International Shakespeare Association.
And I'm up there with those other select bloggers - we few, we happy few - that's right suckahs, I'm quoting that crispy Crispian speech!
Although I wrote a blog post just for the Shakespeare Birthday Project, this is certainly not the first time I've done some bard-blogging. Observe:
Shakespeare under the picnic table - on December 31, 2005 I discuss my A.L. Rowse annotated Shakespeare (3-volume set) which I was forced to leave under a picnic table in Philadelphia January 1, 1981. I got it back.
A Sonnet - April 10, 2008 I posted the first sonnet - first poem, actually - I ever wrote, inspired by Shakespeare's sonnet 151.
My summer of Elizabethan playwrights - July 13, 2008 I mention that my actor friend Bruce Barton played Shakespeare in a production that summer. Another actor I knew played Christopher Marlowe in another play - which had someone else portraying Shakespeare. I discuss briefly why Shakespeare will steal any scene that he is in, whatever the play.
OUR TOWN/HAMLET - November 22, 2010, I come down pretty hard on HAMLET actually, especially Act V Scene 1.
So I'm no Janey-come-lately to this whole Shakespeare blogging thing. But this is the real deal.