Eric Rasmussen has gained international fame as the top Shakespearean expert/sleuth, flying around the world from his University of Nevada-Reno office to verify, or discount, writings from the Bard.
Last month, the English professor took a detour into France for what he thought would be yet another sad journey to find that an old Shakespearean folio was, indeed, nothing but a copy.
But, boy, was he surprised.
Rasmussen, who has been compared to the fictional character Robert Langdon from “The DaVinci Code,” was almost immediately able to say the huge Shakespearean folio was legitimate.
The type of paper used, he said, was a give-away. It helped, too, that it was uncovered in a library in Omer, France, which also contains a rare copy of the invaluable Guttenberg bible.
Rasmussen has been with UNR for some two decades and, yes, he has received offers from more prestigious universities to move. But he feels a loyalty to the campus, he said, because they are the ones who offered him his first job.
He added that his interest in Shakespeare is probably tied to his days as a toddler. His mom, he said, named their Pontiac Tempest “Miranda,” and baked it a birthday cake. Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” features only one woman who appears on stage and her name is Miranda.
Eric Rasmussen, English professor, University of Nevada, Reno
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