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Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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Star - A Palimpsest production

Sundays 19 and 26 November, 3 and 10 December, 4pm and 6pm. Please select your chosen date and time below when booking tickets. Refreshments included

After sell-out success, Palimpsest return to Dr Johnson's House with specially commissioned monologue, "Star", marking David Garrick's tercentenary. Set in September 1747, as a wave of ‘Garrick Fever’ hits London for the opening of the Drury Lane Theatre under the actor’s management.
With the reputation of theatre at an all-time low, Garrick sets out to make himself rich and his profession acceptable. With a Prologue to the new season written by Samuel Johnson, Garrick promises to throw new light on elocution and action, banish ranting and bombast and to restore simplicity and humour to the British Stage. He also casts his keen eye towards dramatic special effects.
But his ‘spirits are uncomposed and every circumstance about him in a perfect dilemma’; it’s three hours before curtain-up and Peg Woffington is arguing the Epilogue and he’s quarrelled with Macklin, the Season’s opener. It’ll be alright on the night, won’t it?

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Palimpsest 'Star' poster

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“Minc’d and Fricaseed”: Garrick’s Adulation and Adaptation of William Shakespeare

Thursday 30 November 7pm (Doors open 6.30pm)

David Garrick is commonly credited with creating what we might now call “The Shakespeare Brand.” Despite his apparent devotion to this dramatist, he rewrote many of the plays, often repeatedly, before presenting them to London audiences. This talk will present the disparities apparent in Garrick’s response to Shakespeare, which veered significantly between hero worship and textual butchery.
Dr. Sheila T. Cavanagh is Professor of English at Emory University. Founding director of the World Shakespeare Project (www.worldshakespeareproject.org) and Director of Emory’s Year of Shakespeare (2016-2017), she was recently Fulbright/Global Shakespeare Distinguished Chair in the UK. Author of Wanton Eyes and Chaste Desires: Female Sexuality in the Faerie Queene and Cherished Torment: the Emotional Geography of Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania, she has published widely in the fields of pedagogy and of Renaissance literature.

Ticket price includes a complimentary glass of wine

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David Garrick as Richard III

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Civic Inhumanism:
Bluestocking Anti-Classicism

Monday 4 December 7pm (Doors open 6.30pm)

Elizabeth Carter is best known as an eighteenth-century neoclassicist, for her translation of the Philosopher Epictetus, and for the neoclassical themes which pervaded her poetry. Through analysis of Carter's correspondence with her intellectual companions, this talk will expose a powerful vein of scepticism in their attitude towards ancient Athens as a grim antithesis to modern Britain. Jack Orchard is a third year PhD Student working between Swansea University and the Electronic Enlightenment programme at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He is working on a thesis on Reading and Epistolary Practises in the Networks of Catherine Talbot, Elizabeth Carter and Elizabeth Montagu.

Ticket price includes a complimentary glass of wine

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Elizabeth Carter

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“MU'SICK at Dr Johnson's House

Thursday 7 December 7pm (Doors open 6.30pm)

Join us for a suitably 18th century concert at Dr Johnson’s House.
Kasia Ziminska and Joanna Jaga Klimaszewska perform:

J.S.Bach - Partita for solo violin no. 2 in d minor
Allemanda
Corrente
Sarabanda
Giga
Ciaccona
J.S.Bach - Duetts (2-part inventions) BWV 772-786

Full biographies for Kasia and Jaga can be found here.

Tickets - £15 - includes a complimentary glas of wine

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December concert

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Prints of Me: portraits of Garrick

Wednesday 31 January 7pm (Doors open 6.30pm)

David Garrick was not only a great actor-manager, scholar and collector, he was also a great self-publicist. He was the first actor to realise that the best way to become famous was for people to recognise him, and the best way to do that was to make sure that prints of his portrait were to be seen everywhere. This talk by Sheila O'Connell, curatorial advisor to Dr Johnson's House and former curator of prints at the British Museum, will discuss Garrick's friendships with artists that helped him to become the best known face outside the royal family in 18th-century Britain.

Ticket price includes a complimentary glass of wine

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Garrick as MacBeth

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DR JOHNSON WALKS

Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walk:

1 November

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

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Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Events information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

LondonShh. Small Historic Houses Link to London Shh website Accredited Museum