Bard’s love affair with Yorkshire is a page turner

Leeds University's Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis with William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, (the Fourth Folio), 1685.
Leeds University's Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis with William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, (the Fourth Folio), 1685.
0
Have your say

A literary love affair between Yorkshire and the most famous playwright of all time is being played out here in Leeds.

An exhibition of rare Shakespeare folios will go on display in an exhibition, fittingly at the University of Leeds, as it reveals his affiliation with God’s Own County and the impact that it had on his work.

Leeds University's Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis holds a book of poems written by William Shakespeare.

Leeds University's Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis holds a book of poems written by William Shakespeare.

The rare pieces were collected by Lord Brotherton of Wakefield, with the First Folio dating to 1623, just seven years after the writer’s death.

The other three date from 1632 to 1685.

While the pieces in the exhibition, ‘For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire’ demonstrate the 17th century development of language and printing they also look at how his stories can be recognised in Yorkshire, how theatre directors today interpret that and use it to ask questions about regional identity.

Co-curator Kit Heyam said: “As a northern lad who loves Shakespeare, I was thrilled to be able to dig deep into his relationship with Yorkshire when curating this exhibition.

Leeds University's Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis holds a book of poems written by William Shakespeare.

Leeds University's Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis holds a book of poems written by William Shakespeare.

“So often when people talk about Shakespearean England, they really mean Shakespearean London - but as the exhibition shows, if we ignore the north we ignore some of the most interesting things about Shakespeare’s plays and their legacy.

“So many of Shakespeare’s most dramatic stories are stories of Yorkshire, and our county’s actors and theatres have a long-standing love affair with his plays.

“Special Collections has such an amazing collection of books and archive material which really brings this hidden relationship to light.”

The exhibition, ‘For All Time: Shakespeare in Yorkshire is part of a wider offering at the University Of Leeds.

The library at the university is also home to the ‘Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery Exhibition’

It has unique items that are deemed to be nationally and internationally significant as Lord Brotherton was one of the country’s leading private collectors of rare books and manuscripts.

On his death in 1930 he left the collection to the university.

The Shakespeare exhibition opens tomorrow and runs until January 31, 2017.

New era? The site of the former Matthew Murray High School in Holbeck earmarked as a possible site for a new training ground for Leeds United

Green-light for Leeds United training ground and ‘sports village’ plans