Madiba flavour for Bard fest
A COPY of the book of Shakespeare's works that inspired Nelson Mandela while he was in prison is to go on display in London as part of an exhibition celebrating the playwright.
The BBC reported on its website yesterday that the Complete Works of Shakespeare "includes notes added by Mandela and other prisoners it was shared with".
The book, known as the Robben Island Bible, was smuggled into the island prison by Mandela's fellow prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam.
It was disguised as a Hindu religious work to trick prison warders.
According to the BBC, "the passage Mandela chose as his favourite was from Julius Caesar, just before the Roman Emperor leaves for the senate on the Ides of March. It includes the lines: ''Cowards die many times before their deaths/The valiant never taste of death but once."
The exhibition, "Shakespeare: Staging the World" opens at the British Museum on July 19 as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.
About 200 objects that will be featured "include an Ides of March coin commissioned by Brutus shortly after the assassination of Caesar in 44BC", the BBC said.
A number of items excavated from the sites of the Globe and Rose theatres in London, where Shakespeare's plays were performed during his lifetime, will also be shown.