Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Midsummer Night's Eve - Monday, 6/20

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy written by William Shakespeare between 1590 and 1597, portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.

Celebrate Midsummer Night’s Eve with author Jacopo della Quercia, who will discuss and sign his latest novel, License to Quill (St. Martin’s Griffin, 12/15/2015) on Monday, June 20 at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany at 141 Washington Avenue.

License to Quill is a page-turning James Bond-esque spy thriller starring William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe during history’s real life Gunpowder Plot. The story follows the fascinating golden age of English espionage, the tumultuous cold war gripping post-Reformation Europe, the cloak-and-dagger politics of Shakespeare’s England, and lastly, the mysterious origins of the Bard’s most haunting play: Macbeth.

A meet the author reception with light fare and cash bar will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the program commencing at 7:00. A book signing will follow the program, and books will be available for purchase. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the Club at 518-414-3555; by sending an email to ellen@universityclubalbany.com; or online. The event is sponsored by the University Club Foundation and one need not be a member of the University Club to attend.

Giacomo Calabria, who writes under the pseudonym Jacopo della Quercia, is an educator and history writer perhaps best known for his more than 100 articles on the comedy website Cracked.com. His work has been featured on BBC America, Business Insider, CNN Money, The Huffington Post, The New York Observer, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Slate, WAMC’s The Roundtable, and academic resources offered by Brigham Young University, George Mason University, and Princeton University’s Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America, among others.

As an academic, Calabria has taught classes on Medieval and Renaissance history, literature, and art since 2006. He has delivered lectures on Machiavellian political psychology at institutions such as Rowan University and the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU. Jacopo recently led a lecture and discussion series on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War for the New York Council for the Humanities.

His previous novel, The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy, is a heart-pounding adventure that only history could have made possible. This historical thriller is an equal-parts cocktail of action, adventure, science-fiction and comedy. The book follows a globe-trotting President Taft and Robert Todd Lincoln in a race to solve a mystery stretching back to the Civil War and the Lincoln assassination. Based on true events, readers will find themselves swept into a vast conspiracy spanning four continents and three oceans during the turn of the century. Fascinating technologies will be harnessed, dark secrets revealed, true villains exposed, and some of the most famous figures in history will take the stage.

The event is co-hosted by the Albany branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, a non-profit, non-political membership organization whose mission is to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in an expanding global community. It sponsors and organizes educational and cultural programs for students and teachers and provides lectures, social events, and travel opportunities for its members. The Albany Branch is one of 68 located throughout the United States and is part of a global network of ESUs in over 50 countries around the world. Visit www.esuus.org/albany for more information.

The University Club of Albany Foundation is a 501c3 corporation formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming at the University Club is provided by AT&T.

For more information about the University Club, visit www.universityclubalbany.com.


  1. People who works there are some of the sweetest people I've met. Save yourself some time and just go there. Everyone at the lofty spaces is sweet and ask how you've been, even though normally staff keep their heads down.

  2. For your consideration.