Upcoming Books, Exhibitions, and Events for April 2016


One book I missed that came out in late March was Jerry Bortton’s This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World which was released March 24 in the UK and March 22 for an international edition (including the US):

And another was the second of Tony Riches’s Tudor Trilogy of historical fiction novels: Jasper, which was released on March 22 in the UK and US.

Two new books with UK releases this month (and later or unknown-at-this-time US releases):

First up is Insurrection: Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and the Pilgrimage of Grace by Susan Loughlin, which will be released on April 4 in the UK and in July in the US.

And the second is Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s Fifth Queen by Josephine Wilkinson, which is out April 7 in the UK and on the Kindle in the US, but I don’t have a release date for the hardcover in the US yet.

New Events and Exhibitions

Believe it or not, I have one addition to this round-up that is isn’t Shakespeare related!

Westminster Abbey’s 500 Years of Wonder will celebrate the quincentennial of the completion of Henry VII’s Lady Chapel with some special events between April 21st and May 5 including a concert, services, and lectures.

And now, back to the Shakespeare events. 🙂

America’s Shakespeare will open on April 7 and run through July 24 and is the second of three exhibitions they will put on, in addition to other events, during their year-long Wonder of Will celebrations.

The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts opens April 15 and will run through September 6. The exhibition is a “Journey through 400 years of history – from the first productions of Hamlet and The Tempest – to understand how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of theatre-goers.”

And finally, Oxford’s Bodleian Library will run Shakespeare’s Dead from April 22 to September 4. This exhibition will examine the theme of Death in Shakespeare’s works. It “provides a unique take on the subject by exploring how Shakespeare used the anticipation of death, the moment of death and mourning the dead as contexts to bring characters to life. … Shakespeare’s Dead also looks at last words spoken, funerals and mourning as well as life after death, including ghosts and characters who come back to life.”

Continuing Exhibitions

I can’t hope to find all of the Shakespeare exhibitions being put on this year, so I’m mainly trying to get the big ones and a few I come across that are outside the UK. If you’re in the UK and want to keep up with special events occurring throughout the year, check out Shakespeare400.

Shakespeare Documented – Celebrating 400 years of William Shakespeare with an online exhibition documenting Shakespeare in his own time. The partners in this exhibition include The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, The British Library, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and The National Archives. The exhibition will continue to expand throughout the year.

By me William Shakespeare: A Life in Writing opened at the National Archives on February 3 and will run through May 29 and features Shakespeare’s will as the centerpiece of the exhibition.

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin launched Shakespeare in Print and Performance on December 21, 2015 and it will run through May 29, 2016.

Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee opened January 18 and will run through July 29, 2016 at the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Windsor Castle will host Shakespeare in the Royal Library from February 13 through January 1, 2017 and includes works of Shakespeare collected by the royal family, accounts of performances at Windsor Castle, and art by members of the royal family inspired by Shakespeare’s plays.


  1. Steven Gunn’s update of his study of the Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Best Friend, came out a couple of months ago, but I thought readers might enjoy Hilary Mantel’s recent witty review of the book in the London Review of Books, “How to be Tudor.”


    Also, Gareth Russell, who has posted on your Q&A blog, has a book coming out next year on Katherine Howard, Young and Fair and Damned: The Life and Tragedy of Katherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII – Amazon UK only right now.

  2. I have an ebook of Steven Gunn’s book from the publisher sitting sadly neglected on my hard drive. 🙁 I’m so far behind on books that it’s become a comedic tragedy.

  3. Yes, I gallantly kept up with most things until 2009, when the Tudor anniversary tidal wave erupted. Since about then the Tudor book industry has been churning out a flood of volumes in all disciplines that it’s hard to stay on top of. Growing up, I wondered why I could never find any information on Tudor people apart from the kings and queens, and now there’s a bio or study of almost every Tudor figure, major or minor, that you come across in L&P. Plus Tudor food, Tudor films, Tudor house decor, Tudor cultural exchanges, Tudor ships, Tudor prostitutes, etc.

    So I too have the non-digital stacks of shame in my house.

  4. Oh god, don’t even get me started on the dead tree guilt staring at me every time I go into the office/library/dining room part of my apartment. And a lot of it really is guilt since some of those are book (like the ebooks) sent to me by publishers and authors. I usually warn people that I probably won’t get a chance to review anything in a timely manner, but it has really gotten ridiculous in the past few years!

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