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Book Reviewed by Times Literary Supplement in London

Mar 01, 2015

Professor Cull book coverRandolph-Macon College English Professor Marisa Cull is the author of Shakespeare’s Princes of Wales: English Identity and the Welsh Connection (Oxford University Press, 2014). The book, which was reviewed by the Times Literary Supplement in London, spotlights the surprising abundance of princes of Wales—English and Welsh alike— appearing onstage in the late Tudor and early Stuart period. Cull's research for the book began a decade ago.

"I became interested in this subject in graduate school," she says. "Several years ago my focus narrowed as I researched Shakespeare’s plays and realized that many include characters that reference or allude to the princedom of Wales—an institution still in place today."

Cull says she discovered that Shakespeare—and other authors of his time period—used the institution of the princedom of Wales to “talk about how their nation was taking shape in that time period.” She cites as an example Shakespeare’s Henry V, a play she says seems to refer to a native Prince of Wales. "Henry V is also a play about taking the various parts of Britain—Ireland, Scotland and Wales—and bringing them together under the umbrella of England," she explains. "It's a play about nation building, and the fact that there's a Prince of Wales in it makes us think differently about the role of Wales in the British Empire: It's an important place in English history."
The book will release in the U.K. in October and in the U.S. in December.

Marisa Cull
Cull teaches courses in Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, and first-year writing at Randolph-Macon. She is involved in the Washington Literary Society and is the faculty advisor for R-MC’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international honors society for English studies. In 2010, her essay titled Contextualizing 1610: Cymbeline, The Valiant Welshman, and the Princes of Wales was one of 12 essays in Shakespeare and Wales (Ashgate), which was edited by two leading scholars in the field of British national identity. The book features important essays on Shakespeare’s work as it relates to Wales.

In 2015 Cull taught a January Term (J-term) course, Shakespeare's Real Stage. Students spent several weeks on campus before traveling to the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in Staunton, Virginia. At ASC's 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse—the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre—students participated in workshops taught by professional actors; attended four plays, including The Taming of the Shrew and The White Devil; and performed brief scenes on the Blackfriars stage.

Cull joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College in 2008. She earned her B.A. from Capital University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

J-term at R-MC
J-term offers something for everyone. For some students, that something is a chance to travel to destinations around the world; other students dedicate the month to internships. On campus, J-term offers for-credit courses across the curriculum, making it possible for students to immerse themselves for one month in a single subject.