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Open Book presents Andrew McConnell Stott

Andrew McConnell Stott author photo WHAT BLEST GENIUS cover art

It was a three-day extravaganza that elevated Shakespeare from one of Britain’s many cultural icons to the Immortal Bard. Except it was a disaster.

A mob of Londoners descended on Stratford-upon-Avon, a rural hamlet that was unable and unwilling to accommodate the crowds. Rain fell in sheets, flooding tents and dampening fireworks, and threatening to wash the whole town away.

What Blest Genius? tells the whole sublime, ridiculous story from the dual perspectives of David Garrick, who masterminded the Jubilee, to James Boswell, who attended it.

Join Open Book and A Noise Within for a very special event featuring Andrew McConnell Stott. Stott will be discussing his book, What Blest Genius?, with Jeremy Rabb, Resident Artist and acting coach at A Noise Within. And to make it even more festive, this event will be held on the main stage of TNW, amid the color and pageantry of the The Winter’s Tale set.

First, mingle with the other guests in a pre-event, hosted happy hour, featuring our signature cocktail, Jubilee Punch. Then take in an animated discussion between Andrew McConnell Stott and Jeremy Rabb. Afterwards, join Stott for a book signing and dessert reception.

It’s the best of Shakespeare. On stage and on the page.


Ticket information here.

Event Date: 
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 7:00pm
A Noise Within Theater
3352 E Foothill Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
What Blest Genius?: The Jubilee That Made Shakespeare Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393248654
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

The remarkable, ridiculous, rain-soaked story of Shakespeare's Jubilee: the event that established William Shakespeare as the greatest writer of all time. In September 1769, three thousand people descended on Stratford-Upon-Avon to celebrate the artistic legacy of the town's most famous son, William Shakespeare. For three days, attendees paraded through garlanded streets, listened to songs and oratorios, and enjoyed masked balls. It was a unique cultural moment-- a coronation elevating Shakespeare to the throne of genius. It was also a disaster. The poorly planned Jubilee imposed an army of Londoners on a backwater town ill- equipped to host them; meanwhile, rain fell in sheets and the whole town seemed like it might wash away. Told from the dual perspectives of David Garrick, who masterminded the Jubilee, and James Boswell, who attended it, What Blest Genius? is rich with humor, gossip and theatrical intrigue. Recounting the absurd and chaotic glory of those three days in September, Andrew McConnell Stott illuminates the circumstances in which William Shakespeare became a transcendent global icon