Ben Jonson journey recreated on social media

Scholars at two UK universities are to recreate the 400-year-old walking adventures of celebrated playwright Ben Jonson using social media.

July 6, 2013

In 1618, the influential poet and dramatist set off on a 450-mile, 71-day trek from London to Edinburgh.

Now, researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham are taking to Twitter, Facebook and their own blog to post highlights from the journey – which ran from 8 July to 5 October - in “real-time”.

Their updates will be based on an account of the journey by an anonymous travelling companion of Jonson, which was discovered by James Loxley, a professor in the University of Edinburgh’s School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, in 2009.

Jonson’s own account of his voyage was destroyed in a fire before it could be circulated, but the anonymous journal, found in the Aldersey collection of family papers in Chester, sheds light on the travellers’ route, how long it took, and who they met along the way.

Researchers say his account is a treasure trove of detail not only for students of Jonson but also for anyone with an interest in the cultural history of the early Stuart period in Britain.

“Jonson’s long walk was a big public event – lots of people accompanied him for short spells along the way, and crowds turned out to greet him at the towns he visited,” Professor Loxley said. “We’d be delighted if anyone wanted to join us for the virtual recreation – walking boots will not be necessary.”

If the project’s Twitter feed (@BenJonsonsWalk) is to be believed, the Jacobean writer is deep in preparation for his adventure. “Ben Jonson is on a short break before he sets off on his epic walk next Monday, with a last minute dash to the Bodleian for some extra info,” said an update earlier this week.

To follow Jonson’s progress, visit the project’s blog.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Professor-Keith Cameron Chair of Australian History UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Clinician, Small Animal Emergency Services UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote