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Posted at 2:54 PM ET, 04/19/2005

Happy Bard-day!


So the Bard is 441. I think this calls for a celebration and some cake. Promenade to the Folger Shakespeare Library for Medieval merriment. With activities like Shakespearean fortune-telling, felt shield-making, quill pen-writing, ivy garland-making, Renaissance dance performances and cake, there will be "much ado."

The real draw; however, is that the library will offer tours of the exclusive and elusive Reading Rooms and the Elizabethan Garden. Generally, the rooms are open only to scholars and researchers. This is the only day of the year that the library opens them to the public. The Folger houses hundreds of thousands of rare books, playbills and manuscripts with the largest collection of Shakespeare materials in the world. The serene Elizabethan Garden is inspired by botanical references in Shakespeare's plays and has eight new statues, each representing a different Shakespearean work. Alas, if all that is not enough to have thee speaking old English, then consider this: How many people can claim they've eaten free cake cut and served by Queen Elizabeth I?

-- Erin

By  | April 19, 2005; 2:54 PM ET
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Shakespeare didn't speak Old English!! He spoke and wrote in an earlier version of Modern English: Old English (such as the opening lines of "Beowulf": "Hwaet, we gar-dena in geardaega thrym gefrunon, hu the aethelingas elle fremedon")would have been as incomprehensible to his as it is to most of us. Just had to clarify that!

Posted by: Peter O'Malley | April 20, 2005 3:24 PM | Report abuse

You left out "theodcyninga" between "geardagum" and "thrym".

Posted by: KCinDC | April 22, 2005 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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