Posts on March 2016
from Beyond the Reading Room

Embodying Shakespeare: Zelma Weisfeld’s Costume Designs

Sketch depicting costume designs for three characters from As You Like It: Jacques, Duke Senior, and Amiens

The exhibit Shakespeare on Page and Stage: A Celebration (Audubon Room, January 11-April 27, 2016) showcases both the textual and performance history of Shakespeare’s plays. This post looks in greater detail at the work of costume and set designer Zelma Weisfeld, professor of Theatre and Drama at the University of Michigan from 1960-1988. During those 28 years, Weisfeld contributed to more than 120 theatre and opera productions, including several Shakespeare plays.

It's All about Blood!

Title-page of Discorsi di Pietro Paolo Magni piacentino sopra il mondo di sanguinare, attaccar le sanguisugue, & le ventose far le fregagione & vessicatorij a corpi humani (Roma: Bartolomeo Bonfadino, 1586)

Our featured book is a copy of the second edition of the famous sixteenth-century blood-letting treatise for barber-surgeons, Discourses of Pietro Paolo Magni of Piacenza on how to bleed, attach leeches and cups, perform massages and blistering to the human body (Discorsi di Pietro Paolo Magni piacentino sopra il mondo di sanguinare, attaccar le sanguisugue, & le ventose far le fregagione & vessicatorij a corpi humani). It was published in Rome in 1586.

Mrs. Beeton’s Pies for Pi Day

Title page of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

March 14th (3/14) is celebrated around the world as Pi Day because the Greek letter ㄫ or pi, which is used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, rounds to approximately 3.14. By happy coincidence, Pi is a homophone of Pie, and so 3/14 is also the perfect opportunity to enjoy baking (and eating) sweet and savory circular pastries. Below we share three recipes from the 1866 edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management.