English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

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Evelyn Wrench TLab Speakers Series

The Evelyn Wrench TLab Speakers Series features renowned lecturers from our TLab programs at the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Shakespeare's Globe.


Peter Gilliver lecturing on the Oxford English Dictionary

Peter Gilliver
November 8-18, 2018

Peter Gilliver has been an editor of the Oxford English Dictionary since 1987, and is now one of the Dictionary's most experienced lexicographers. In addition to his lexicographical work, he has been writing and speaking about the history of the OED for over fifteen years. His book The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, published to great acclaim in 2016, is due out in paperback September. Earlier this year he was awarded a special doctorate by the University of Cambridge for his work on the history of the OED.
In his talk, Peter Gilliver tells the history of the Oxford English Dictionary from its beginnings in the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. He has drawn on a wide range of sources—including previously unexamined archival material and eyewitness testimony—to create a detailed history of the project. He describes the Dictionary's genesis among Victorian scholars inspired by the idea of creating a historical lexicon of the English language, and traces the struggles to bring this concept to fruition, and the development of the book from 1884 to today. The talk will also describe how today's lexicographers are revising and updating the OED.
Tour Dates
  • November 8, 6:30 pm: ESU National Headquarters, New York, NY
  • November 10, 5:00 pm: Atlanta, GA - Cathedral of St. Phillip 
  • November 11, 12:45 pm Jacksonville, FL - Timuquana Country Club 
  • November 12, 3 pm: University Club of Winter Park, Orlando, FL - 3:30 PM
  • November 13: O.Henry Hotel, Greensboro, NC
  • November 14, 6-8 pm: The Mercantile Library, Cincinnati, Ohio. Click for more information.
  • November 15 6:30 pm: The University Club of Denver, CO
  • November 17-18, Wyndham Garden New Orleans Baronne Plaza, New Orleans, LA

Darren Freebury-Jones

Darren Freebury-Jones
January 23- February 1, 2019

Darren Freebury-Jones is a lecturer in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon. His role involves lecturing to a range of audiences: high schools, universities and leisure learners from around the world. He has taught at the Shakespeare Centre on the TLab program for English in Action and his 2016 doctoral thesis examined Thomas Kyd's influence on Shakespeare's early work. His research interests range from textual studies, digital scholarship and authorship attribution to performance studies. His recent and forthcoming work on the plays of authors such as Shakespeare, Kyd, Lyly, Marlowe, Peele, Nashe, Marston, Dekker, Fletcher and others can be found in a range of peer-reviewed journals. Darren enjoys acting in his spare time and has performed professionally and in amateur theater and film productions. In particular, he has played a number of Shakespearean roles in Wales, where he was born, as well as in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Abstract for '"The very stream of his life and the business he hath helmed": The Life, Works, and Legacy of William Shakespeare':

This talk begins at the great river that is the source of Shakespeare's legacy by charting his life in a largely chronological arrangement, from birth to death in Stratford-upon-Avon. The talk explores the lives of his family members and associates, as well as his business dealings in London and Stratford, and his dramatic and literary output at various points of his career. Although the talk does not stress the biographical implications of Shakespeare's works, extracts from his plays and poems are read in relation to the emotional narrative of his life. For instance, Sonnet 145 accompanies an exploration of his relationship with Anne Hathaway, and Constance's speech in King John is discussed in relation to the death of Shakespeare's son, Hamnet. Shakespeare is presented as a son, a husband, a father, an actor, a poet, a dramatist, a collaborator, and a businessman, therefore providing a far-ranging exploration of his life, works, and legacy.

Tour Dates
If you're interested in hosting Darren Freebury-Jones, complete the Participation Form or email emohylowski@esuus.org.