New York Times

New "Henry V" aimed at youth

A new production of Shakespeare's Henry V at the New Victory Theater, the family-friendly theater in New York City, co-produced by the Acting Company and the Guthrie Theater, offers fast-paced staging aimed at the theater's young audience. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times has a review.

Unfortunate English place names

Bart Simpson would have a field day if he visited England with some of its "unfortunate" place names such as Pratts Bottom, a village in Kent, or Crapstone in Devon. Hazel Thompson of the New York Times looks at some historic names which might bring a snicker.

Citizen strives to save Beijing artifacts

Many of China's historic buildings have been torn down, and others are scheduled for demolition, in an effort to provide room for a growing economy. Some citizens, like hospice administrator Li Songtang, are trying to save what little is left.

Digitized Gutenberg Bible to grace Morgan library website

The New York Times reports that the Morgan Library and Museum in New York plans to create a digital copy of one of its Gutenberg Bibles and post it on the library's website.

The etymology of the hangover

On the blog Proof for the New York Times, Iain Gately ponders the history of hangovers and the euphemisms used to deal with them.

Salisbury inspires medieval moments

Travelers to London looking for a day trip may want to consider Salisbury in Wiltshire, a medieval city complete with impressive cathedral, museums and historic houses, and restaurants and pubs. Jennifer Conlin of the New York Times has a travel review.

A genetic map of Europe

A genetic map of Europe constructed by Dr. Kayser, Dr. Oscar Lao and others from Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, shows where 23 populations live in Europe and the genetic relationships between them. (graphics)

Medieval China being lost to modernisation

Historic Chinese buildings, some dating to the 13th century, are being lost to progress as an explosion of construction overcomes Beijing's old neighborhoods. Especially at risk are the classic hutongs, narrow alleyways created by Mongols during the Yuan dynasty.

Medieval "beguine" movement still alive in Belgium

Life was tough for women in the 13th century, especially those who had lost their husbands and protectors to the Crusades. Experts believe this was the origin of the "beguines — a Roman Catholic laic order that began in the 13th century and branched across northwest Europe."

Arthur C. Clarke Dies

Famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke has died on March 18 at a hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the age of 90. Best-known for his work 2001: A Space Odyssey, his work on communications satellites also helped change the world.

The Other Boleyn Girl "more slog than romp"

"According to this oddly plotted and frantically paced pastiche — written by Peter Morgan, directed by Justin Chadwick — the girls were more or less the Paris and Nicky Hilton of the Tudor court," writes reviewer Manohla Dargis for the New York Times.

Patrick Stewart stars in modern Macbeth

A "good and nasty interpretation of Macbeth" starring Patrick Stewart is being performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through March 22, 2008. Ben Brantley of the New York Times has a review.

Black Plague selective killer

A new study of nearly 500 skeletons in a London plague cemetery proves that many of the victims had weaker immune systems when they died than normal, leading experts to believe that most who succumbed were old, sick or poor.

“Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!” called "giggle-worthy"

"I itch in the cathedral; When I pray upon my knees: God, You saved us from damnation; Now save us from the fleas!" writes Laura Amy Schlitz in Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village, a new children's book reviewed by John Schwartz for the Sunday New York Times.

Sculptural weaver Lenore Tawney dead at 100

Lenore Tawney, a weaver who "helped create the genre of fiber art" died September 24, 2007 in her home at the age of 100. Holland Cotter for the New York Times remembers her and her work.

Sir Ian McKellen stars in "King Lear"

Sir Ian McKellen, known for his role of Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will take on a new role when he appears as the title character in Shakespeare's King Lear.

Karen Hess, food historian (1918-2007)

Culinary historian Karen Hess died May 15, 2007 at the age of 88. To SCA cooks and others with an interest in medieval and renaissance foods and cookery, she is best known as the editor of a collection of 16th and 17th century recipe manuscripts owned by Martha (Mrs. George) Washington.

Staging Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde'

"Staging Wagner’s 'Tristan und Isolde' is a notoriously treacherous proposition," begins Matthew Gurewitsch, as he examines many different versions of the story which have appeared on stage.

A Death in the Family: Milton Friedman, Father of Master Cariadoc of the Bow

Nobel-Laureate economist Milton Friedman, father of Dr. David Friedman (Master Cariadoc of the Bow, Duke of the East and Midrealm) has died at age 94. The news was announced late afternoon November 16, 2006.

Chimney Sweeps Face Change to Ancient Trade

German chimney sweeps, their jobs protected by law since the Middle Ages, now face competition from sweeps immigrating from other European countries.

"Gates of Paradise" to Tour USA

Lorenzo Ghiberti's immense gilded doors, completed in 1452 and nicknamed the "Gates of Paradise," will tour the United States beginning in April 2007. The intricately decorated doors are 20 feet high and weigh three tons.

"Machiavelli" Now Off Broadway in NYC

Machiavelli, a new play by Richard Vetere, has opened off Broadway in New York City. The comedy has been called "snappy, surprising, stimulating, and all together satisfying" by critics.

Seeking Shakespeare in Connecticut

An exhibition of three paintings depicting the likeness of William Shakespeare is on display at the Yale Center for British Art. Searching for Shakespeare will be in New Haven, CT until September 17, 2006.

Medieval Scholar Mary Martin McLaughlin, dead at 87

Mary Martin McLaughlin, best known for editing work on The Portable Medieval Reader (Viking, 1949) and The Portable Renaissance Reader (Viking, 1953), has passed away at the age of 87.

New York Gallery Explores Gothic Revival in USA

A new museum-quality show presents Gothic Revival furniture and architecture from 19th century America.

Met Show Features Tibetan Arms and Armor

A current exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art features Tibetan weapons, armor, and other war gear from the 13th to the 20th century.

Judge in DaVinci Code case creates code of his own

Bored with solving The DaVinci Code from Dan Brown's bestselling book? Try solving The Smithy Code, created by the judge in a copyright case involving the book.

Madeleine P. Cosman, author of "Fabulous Feasts", dies at age 68

Best known for her book Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony, Madeleine Pelner Cosman has died at the age of 68 in California. She was also the founder of the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at City College of New York and the organizer of Manhattan's annual Cloisters medieval festival.

Renaissance Allegories on Display at the Frick

A pair of allegorical paintings by Renaissance artist Paolo Veronese will be the centerpiece of Veronese's Allegories: Virtue, Love and Exploration in Renaissance Venice, a small exhibit at the Frick Gallery in New York City beginning April 11, 2006.

Transporting Masterpieces a Delicate Job

Laurence B. Kanter, organizer for the Fra Angelico exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was faced with the extremely delicate job of transporting and unpacking the priceless, and sometimes crumbling, works of art for "the exhibition of a lifetime."