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Wimbledon, Shakespeare, and strawberries

July 2, 2013

Authored by Daniel Parker, Publicity Assistant at Oxford University Press

It’s time to dust off your racket and wrestle the tennis balls from your dog’s mouth. Wimbledon 2013 is upon us! Wimbledon is now as much a feature of the British summer as barbecues, Henley Royal Regatta, and summer rain. Whether you grew up shouting ‘Come on Tim!’ or ‘Don’t cry Andy!’, Wimbledon seemingly captivates every generation of the British public for two weeks. But as spectators at SW19 reach for their scones, jams, and Pimms, I wonder if our perception of tennis is similar to Shakespeare’s? Was it all strawberries and cream and Henman Hill in the sixteenth century too? Using Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) as my experienced, disciplined, but approachable coach, I cast a hawk-eye over Shakespeare texts to look for references to tennis. So if you’d like to take your seats at centre-court, I will serve up some aces for your enjoyment.

Quiet please, Will Shakespeare to serve. First set. Play...Read the rest of this article on the OUPBlog.


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