18. Early Shows
Bunn Dramatizes Shakespeare
This broadside is for a very early (1850s) illustrated lecture on Shakespeare, given by an Englishman, Alfred Bunn, at the Masonic Temple in Boston. Bunn claimed he had already given the lecture 300 times in England.
Bunn was a controversial theatrical promoter in England, but his book, Old England and New England, in which the Shakespeare flyer is pasted, is a lively but sympathetic tour of America.
Lectures on Shakespeare continued to be a popular subject throughout the lantern era. The slide is from Beale’s set illustrating Romeo and Juliet.
In the period 1902-1913 Beale created 6 Shakespeare sets of 12–15 slides each, part of about 770 literature images in his career. The Shakespeare sets were probably used to illustrate dramatic readings within the context of illustrated lectures, just as Bunn was doing fifty years earlier.