Pequot Library Digital Digest Newsletter - December 30, 2023

From: Pequot Library
January 2, 2024

The Digital Digest: J.R.R. Tolkien
Join us every weekend for Pequot Library's e-newsletter.

J. R.R. Tolkein was born on January 3, 1892. Orphaned at an early age, he became a doting father who started his literary empire by telling bedtime stories to his four children. Read more about his life here. Click here to view a charming video we recorded in 2020 of Alastair Crawford reading from The Hobbit.

We are down to the home stretch - our End-of-Calendar-Year Appeal closes TOMORROW, December 31! Your kind contribution keeps Pequot Library going strong.

In 2023, we offered 485 programs to an expanded audience of 46,000 - a 64% and 38% increase, respectively, over the prior year.

Your support this year enables us to welcome K-12 school students for field trips, offer a robust lineup of after-school programming, present an outstanding schedule of author talks, and much more! We serve as a community gathering place for the all of Fairfield and our surrounding towns and cities, a resource center for information, and a cultural hub for countless visitors from all over the area.
Learn more here.


Pequot Library Presents: Shakespeare Film Festival
January 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m. and January 13, 2:00-8:00 p.m.

Filmmakers have placed Shakespeare's plays and characters in a wide variety of time periods and settings, from the distant past to the future. Sit and watch as the world of William Shakespeare comes to life. Learn more about the current exhibition, How William Became Shakespeare: Four Hundred Years of the First Folio, on view through February 10, 2024.

Click here to see our full calendar of programs & events.


Tales from Shakespeare by Mary and Charles Lamb [Illustrated by Arthur Rackham]
(London: J.M. Dent & Company, 1909)
Pequot Library Special Collections

English book illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) is considered one of the leading figures of the “Golden Age '' of British book illustration, which roughly encompassed the years from 1890 until the end of the First World War. His recognizable illustrations pair pen and India ink drawings with subtle use of watercolor. See this text on view now during our exhibition How William Became Shakespeare: Four Hundred Years of the First Folio.

As for J.R.R. Tolkien, he had a contentious relationship with Shakespeare's works. According to this article, "Tolkien’s scorn for Shakespeare—one he shared with literary heavyweight Leo Tolstoy—dates back to his school days. Serving as the secretary of the debating society at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, the future creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings once argued that Shakespeare’s plays were written by Francis Bacon, shocking his peers with what the student newspaper described as 'a sudden flood of unqualified abuse upon Shakespeare, upon his filthy birthplace, his squalid surroundings, and his sordid character.'"

However, he also wrote to his son about the necessity of seeing the Bard's works in person, conceding, “The part that came out as the most moving, almost intolerably so, was the one that in reading I always found a bore: the scene of mad Ophelia singing her snatches.” Scholars notice many echoes of Shakespeare's works in Tolkien's canon, and he expressed a desire to rewrite part of Macbeth. If nothing else "...both men were deeply connected to the English countryside a country that gave them a deep appreciation for the simple things in life." 

Click here to Read More Information About Pequot Library Digital Digest Newsletter - December 30, 2023

Select a Connecticut town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you