News And Events

2015 Shakespeare Competition Results

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Left to Right: Amari Leigh; Willington Vuelto; Alexander Kestenbaum

Willington Vuelto, a student of Gabriel Silva at Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, won the 2015 English-Speaking Union New York Branch Shakespeare Competition.  Alexander Kestenbaum from SAR High School in the Bronx placed 2nd, and Amari Leigh from Hunter College High School in Manhattan placed 3rd. Congratulations to all the students who participated this year, and many thanks to their teachers and schools!  Please click below to read the full story.


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Shakespeare Competition Finalists

The semi-finals of the 2015 ESU New York Branch Shakespeare Competition were held this week at the New York Public LibraryThe judges selected twelve high school students to advance to the finals (scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th at The Morgan Library & Museum). For a list of finalists, please click below to read the full story. 


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Brunel - The Man who Changed the World

Hear a talk by 

Robert Hulse

Monday, April 13, 2015,
The English-Speaking Union
144 East 39th Street, New York City 
Talk begins promptly at 6:30 PM 

The Victorians' favorite word for machines and engineering was 'promethean' and the adjective suggests gigantic, world changing, world shocking design. Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) was the quintessential promethean engineer who changed the world. His first project, London's Thames Tunnel, is the birthplace of urban transport. It was the eighth wonder of the world to the Victorians. His last project, the SS Great Eastern, changed trade and the shape of the world. People lined Manhattan fifty deep to see the first modern ocean liner come up the river in 1860. Robert Hulse will examine Brunel as visionary engineer, showman and world changer. Of Isambard Brunel, BBC broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson explained, 'Brunel built Britain, and Britain built the world, which means Brunel built the world'.

For more information and for online registration click here. 

Click here for the mail-in registration form. 


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Special Presentation by Carol Wallace: To Marry an English Lord

Event  is Sold Out!

The Carol Wallace Talk is Sold Out.  We are no longer accepting registrations or selling tickets.  We will not be able to accommodate those who come without a prior registration or who have not purchased tickets in advance.

Carol Wallace
Co-author of the highly acclaimed book
To Marry an English Lord

The Inspiration for Julian Fellowes'
Downton Abbey

Thursday, January 8, 2015
The English-Speaking Union
144 East 39th Street, New York City

When Julian Fellowes was approached to create the now world-acclaimed TV series Downton Abbey, he was reading Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace's book, which he called "a marvelous and entertaining study of the American girls who came over to England, mostly between 1890 and 1914, to marry into the British aristocracy." To Marry an English Lord, which was first published in 1989 and has been reissued for Downton Abbey fans, explores both the glamour and the misfortune that greeted some 100+ newly-minted American heiresses who,  having been snubbed by the Social Register, invaded Great Britain to swap dollars for titles.


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Free Sonnet Workshop for Teachers

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We invite NYC area high school teachers to join us for a free interactive workshop on Shakespeare's sonnets and beyond (January 14th from 4:00-6:00 pm at The Morgan Library & Museum). Space is limited.  Register by January 12th. This program is offered in partnership with The Morgan Library & Museum and Teachers & Writers Collaborative (Poetry Out Loud). 


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The English-Speaking Union

New York City Branch

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Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.