Shakespeare’s handwriting to be digitised by British Library for first time

17 March 2016

The pages of the only surviving manuscript to contain Shakespeare’s handwriting are to be digitised by the British Library, where the public will be able to view an impassioned speech in defence of refugees in London.

It is part of the digitisation of more than 300 manuscripts, books, maps, paintings, illustrations and more that will be available on the British Library’s new Discovering Literature: Shakespeare website.

The British Library has identified Shakespeare’s hand in the pages of the play ‘Sir Thomas More’ through the writing itself and the spelling, vocabulary, the imagery used and the ideas he expresses in the text.

‘Sir Thomas More’ focuses on Henry VIII’s chancellor and was originally penned by Anthony Munday between 1596 and 1601. Shakespeare had been commissioned to write just one scene but was later involved in revising the script alongside other playwrights including Henry Chettle and Thomas Dekker.

Shakespeare’s scene sees Sir Thomas More defend French refugees who are about to come under attack from an angry mob.

Read the full story here.

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