Jacobean-Jacobite? Dated and Confused

Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

The Works of Benjamin Johson, title pageI was so confused.  For weeks, Kevin and I have been talking about the Jacobites.  –Before I get into this conversation, it’s extremely important for me to note that neither my grade school nor high school spent very much time on the subject of history.  We excelled in language arts, but not so much the stuff I would one day have to write about.—  So, Kevin recently showed me a collection we received from Virginius C. Hall on the Jacobites.  Not having any idea who they were, I looked them up.  The internet gave me the gist of information I would need to know, so between that and our collection I have been able to piece some things together—until today.

Continue reading Jacobean-Jacobite? Dated and Confused

Notes on Some Jacobite Beheadings

By:  Sydney Vollmer

Among the items recently received from the Virginius C. Hall Jacobite Collection in the Archives & Rare Books Library is a watercolor of the “Beheading of the Rebel Lords on Great Tower Hill.”  Unfortunately, the image is not one-of-a-kind.  It is an incredible work, though.  Depicted in this scene is an endless crowd surrounding a scaffold.  On the platform, one man has his head down on the chopping block as an ax is raised over his neck.  This execution took place in 1746 after the Jacobite Rising in 1745.

Jacobite Beheading Continue reading Notes on Some Jacobite Beheadings

Dealt a Similar Hand: An Analysis Between Macbeth and House of Cards

By:  Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

With our political choices today, we wish we could pretend that what’s going on is some twisted, comedic version of House of Cards.  Unfortunately for all of us, it’s completely real.  There’s no use in dwelling on it, so let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist by diving back into House of Cards while we (patiently) await the fifth season.

Macbeth and Frank Underwood

I’m not a big HOC buff, but I saw the majority of episodes each time my dad monopolized the couch after every season’s release.  The series magnifies brutality and corruption, somehow getting its audience to root for unlikeable characters.  Truly, there is no one on the show that you can look at as the underdog, or the person who deserves their prize.  When you think about it, the show is a complete extension of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, if his characters hadn’t died at the end.  I’m certainly not the first person to make this comparison—not by a long stretch—but I did come up with this realization without external influences.  That means that the comparisons are so strong that multiple people individually have stood up and said “Frank Underwood is the modern-day American Macbeth.”  And there is plenty of evidence to back this up; I’ll show you what I mean. Continue reading Dealt a Similar Hand: An Analysis Between Macbeth and House of Cards

Joe Should Respect the Throne in Scotland, PA

By Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Do you remember when I thought there were a lot of film adaptations of Hamlet?  Well, it turns out that number is nothing compared to the number of films made on Macbeth.  The adaptations started as early as 1916 and are still running strong.  Over the past 100 years, more than 15 film adaptations have been created.  That number doesn’t even include the amount of television shows based on the play, episodes with Macbeth as their title, or all of the times the play has been filmed for television. (See full list below.)  Many of these films are direct adaptations, but a few are creative twists on the traditional story.  These twists include: Joe MacBeth (1955), Throne of Blood (1957), Men of Respect (1990), and Scotland, PA (2001).

Joe MacBeth film poster

 

Joe MacBeth
1955
1h 30m

In this adaptation, we no longer are traipsing through dark castles in Scotland, but ducking through the alleyways as Lily MacBeth urges her husband to take down the top mob boss.  Starring in this movie is Paul Douglas as “Joe MacBeth” and Ruth Roman as “Lily MacBeth.”

 

Continue reading Joe Should Respect the Throne in Scotland, PA

Greed Makes Ghosts in the Scottish Hills

By: Sydney Vollmer

MacbethActors have this weird superstition about the name “Macbeth.” I know you’re not supposed to say it inside a theater unless you’re actually rehearsing the play, but I wonder if there is an official rule on saying it outside before the show starts. My reason for asking is that this summer the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has chosen to add Macbeth to their list of free Shakespeare in the Park performances along with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading Greed Makes Ghosts in the Scottish Hills

I’m Insulted We Haven’t Talked about This Sooner

By: Sydney Vollmer

When the stupid *$&@___ in front of you in line can’t make up their *@($-ing mind, don’t you just want to pull out your hair and tell them what an %*$%&*! they’re being? But you can’t. Why? Because there are children around. And because we live in a “civilized” society where doing such things would get you kicked out. After all, you just want your #$*(-ing coffee! Four letter words won’t save you this time. You’ll have to get more creative.

William Shakespeare Continue reading I’m Insulted We Haven’t Talked about This Sooner

ARB and the Enlightenment

By: Bridget McCormick, ARB Student Assistant

Thomas PaineOne of the strengths of the rare books collection in the Archives & Rare Books Library is 18th c. British literature, encompassing poetry and drama, history, political treatises, social commentary, and homiletics among several genres. And, these works are complemented by materials for the same time period from the Continent, particularly France and Germany. Brought together, these important volumes highlight the Age of Enlightenment, that period of intellectual development and reasoning that took place in Europe between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. To “enlighten” is to provide knowledge or understanding to and indeed, this chapter of European history introduced significant developments in art, philosophy, science, and politics. Continue reading ARB and the Enlightenment

Libby Holman: Fresh Painting the Town Red

By: Sydney Vollmer

Libby HolmanThe Fresh Painters Club was considered controversial due to the type of plays it put on—nothing was off-limits. Perhaps the nature of the club was influenced by the free spirits who participated. One such spirit was Libby Holman. Nineteen Twenty-three, the year the club was founded, she played the role of Violet Fields in “Fresh Paint.” Having dreams and talent too big for her hometown, she left for New York in 1924.

Born Elizabeth Holzman, her last name was changed sometime after her uncle, Ross, embezzled $1 million dollars from the stockbrokerage he owned with Libby’s father. Mr. Holzman changed the family’s name not only because of the anti-German attitudes in America at the time, but because he most likely wanted to save his kin from being attached to such an outrageous scandal, and because he needed to detach himself from the Holzman name so he could find work. This was only the first of many scandals with which Libby would be associated. Continue reading Libby Holman: Fresh Painting the Town Red

Fresh Painters Club

By:  Sydney Vollmer

Lilaine Program CoverI’m a little late on posting a few big Shakespeare things. I promise they’re coming. In the craziness that has been finals, Kevin decided maybe I would like a little break from the Bard. (He was right.) He suggested I try painting for a little—and by that he meant looking into the Fresh Painters Club that was once a major extra-curricular at the University of Cincinnati. Conveniently, there was a history of the club that was written several decades ago. Though I don’t know who wrote it or exactly when it was penned, he or she explained the organization far better than I can. The text is as follows:

ANALYSIS OF THE FRESH PAINTER ACTIVITY

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI.

HISTORY.

Looking backward, the Fresh Painters has developed from an old Varsity tradition. Every year during the period between 1900 and 1921, students gave a revue called “Varsity Vanities”. These revues were disconnected sets depicting the frivolities of campus life, and demonstrated singing, dancing and acting talents of undergraduates. Every spring the varsity Vanities Committee was organized and the revue was produced. Continue reading Fresh Painters Club