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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The Private Life of William Shakespeare

Religion: was Shakespeare raised Catholic?

In this OUPblog post, Lena Cowen Orlin, author of the “detailed and dazzling” ‘The Private Life of William Shakespeare’ asks, was Shakespeare raised Catholic, and what role did his father, John, play.

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Moby Dick Oxford World's Classics

Moby-Dick is the answer. What is the question?

In December 2021, I was a contestant on the popular American quiz show Jeopardy! Every Jeopardy! game has a brief segment in which contestants share anecdotes about themselves, and I used my time to proselytize reading Moby-Dick. I talked about my work on the new Oxford World’s Classics edition of the novel, and emphasized that Melville’s novel is unexpectedly weird, moving, and hilarious despite its monumental reputation.

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Bram Stoker's Dracula

Five little-known facts about Dracula

The 26th May 2022 marks the 125th anniversary of Dracula’s publication. Despite its reputation as one of the great Gothic novels, there are facts about Dracula that might surprise even the most hardcore fans.

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The Diva's Gift to the Shakespearean Stage: Agency, Theatricality, and the Innamorata

Why “the all-male stage” wasn’t

Why is “the all-male stage” inadequate as shorthand for the early modern stage? For one thing, it enforces a gender binary that has little to do with the subjects, desires, audiences, and practices of the time. Gender was elusive, plural, and performative, especially on the stage, where attractive androgynous boys played women, or switched back and forth between genders. The importance of female spectators, artisans, and backers gives the lie to total exclusion, and so does mounting evidence that women played in many spheres adjacent to the professional stage.

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OUPblog

The top 10 literature blog posts of 2021

This year on the OUPblog, our authors have marked major anniversaries, championed activism, confronted antisemitism, shattered stereotypes, and sought to understand our post-pandemic world through literature. Dive into the top 10 literature blog posts of the year on the OUPblog:

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V.S. Naipaul, Caribbean Writing, and Caribbean Thought by William Ghosh

Homi K. Bhabha on V.S. Naipaul: in conversation with William Ghosh

“Literature, we’re told, is the immortality of speech, but in fact reputations fade quickly.” In this OUPblog, read foundational figure in postcolonial theory, Homi K. Bhabha, in conversation with William Ghosh, author of V.S. Naipaul, Caribbean Writing, and Caribbean Thought (Oxford 2020).

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