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Illustrating Shakespeare: practice, theory and the digital humanities

Goodman, Michael 2016. Illustrating Shakespeare: practice, theory and the digital humanities. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The Victorian era was the 'Golden Age' for Shakespeare illustration. Between 1939 and 1880 thousands of illustrations were produced within many different editions of Shakespeare's Complete Works. What is so fascinating about these illustrations is that they have, historically, been widely neglected by academic scholarship. These editions, which were hugely popular in the Victorian era, are a very important part of our cultural heritage and, indeed, our construction of Shakespeare's plays as we understand them today. The 'Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive' is centered on the four major Victorian illustrated editions of Shakespeare's Complete Works and makes available online over 3000 of these illustrations in an open-access database. The archive is available online at '' and will allow researchers and members of the public to explore a rich image archive and to ask new questions about this material: for example, 'how did the Victorians portray certain characters and plays pictorially and does this portrayal differ throughout the Victorian era?' Alongside such questions, the archive, more broadly, allows users to explore and interrogate the complex relationship that exists between the page and the stage, between word and image and between the past and the present. Underpinning the project is my strong belief that an online academic resource can be both scholarly rigorous and user-friendly. Further, the archive uses social networking to enable a community of users to discuss the images and to collaborate in exciting new and unforeseen ways. This thesis explores the implications around the creation of such work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
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Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 December 2016
Date of Acceptance: 14 December 2016
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 03:08

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