Churchill’s Shakespeare Exhibit at Folger on Nov. 20

AAFSW members are cordially invited to a guided tour of “Churchill’s Shakespeare”, a special exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library, on November 20 at 11:00 a.m.

Vividly recalled for his leadership and stirring speeches as Britain’s prime minister for almost all of World War II, Winston Churchill drew on his lifelong interest in Shakespeare as his words kept up the courage of many around the world.

Churchill’s Shakespeare is curated by Georgianna Ziegler, Associate Librarian and Head of Reference Emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, with generous curatorial and collections support from the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge. The exhibition tells the story of Shakespeare’s influence on Churchill’s oratory by bringing together for the first time almost 50 rare and sometimes unique materials from the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge; Churchill’s home, Chartwell courtesy of the National Trust; and the Folger Shakespeare Library. The exhibition is produced in partnership with the International Churchill Society.

Among the many items on view are a bow tie, bowler hat, and walking stick, parts of Churchill’s familiar apparel; German, French, and British illustrated editions of Hamlet from just before and after World War I; letters between Churchill and his wife, Clementine; manuscripts and marked-up proofs of several of Churchill’s World War II speeches and his numerous books; and copies of Shakespeare presented to him by friends early and late in his career. Together, these and other materials suggest some of Shakespeare’s ubiquitous presence in Churchill’s life and thoughts.

In the exhibition, the rich connection between Churchill’s words and ideas and Shakespeare’s plays is further explored by audio and video clips of Churchill and others, including actors Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton, as well as several original videos created for Churchill’s Shakespeare. The new videos include curator Georgianna Ziegler, Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Centre, Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny (2018), Folger Director Michael Witmore, and Michael Bishop, executive director of the International Churchill Society and director of the National Churchill Library and Center at the George Washington University.

RSVP to or 703-820-5420 by November 16. Please arrive at the Folger Shakespeare Library,at 201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003, by 10:45 on Tuesday, November 20. Admission is free.

We hope to see you there!

Sheila Switzer
AAFSW Program Chair