Shakespeare to Sherlock: Treasures of the British Library
This exhibition showcases a range of classics of English literature from the treasures of the British Library for the first time in China, including Charles Dickens’s manuscript for Nicholas Nickleby and Charlotte Brontë’s ‘fair copy’ manuscript of Jane Eyre.
Shakespeare to Sherlock: Treasures of the British Library opens on 21 April 2017 in the National Library of China in Beijing. The exhibition features a range of classics of English literature, from Charles Dickens’ manuscript for Nicholas Nickleby and Charlotte Brontë’s ‘fair copy’ manuscript of Jane Eyre to an early Quarto edition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the draft of William Wordsworth’s Daffodils.
The Beijing exhibition will also include classics that have become hugely popular in China through film and TV adaptations, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tale The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter and Ian Fleming’s James Bond story The Living Daylights.
The British Library manuscripts will be displayed alongside National Library of China items including translations, adaptations and critical responses that showcase the long and productive dialogue between English and Chinese literature and culture. Visitors will be able to see the 1599 Quarto edition of Romeo and Juliet, once owned by King George III, side by side with a Ming Dynasty print copy of The Peony Pavilion, by Shakespeare’s Chinese contemporary Tang Xianzu.
The exhibition, which runs from 21 April to 21 June 2017, launches a much wider three-year programme of cultural exchange, The British Library in China: connecting through culture and learning. Made possible by £1.6 million of funding from the UK Government, the programme includes a series of pop-up exhibitions that will subsequently be held in locations around China, including Wuzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong, through to 2019.