Taylor Moore

Photo Credit: Debby Garcia | Daily Texan Staff

An ornately designed logo printed on Shakespeare’s works suggests an earlier rise to prominence than previously thought, according to a UT professor.

English professor Douglas Bruster said his research shows that Shakespeare created a type of brand and gained recognition from his peers earlier in his career through an ornate design that Bruster refers to as “Lady 8.” The logo depicts a female face, birds and leaves and appears on the title pages of the poems “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece.”

The design previously appeared only on the inside pages of books and often accompanied the names of aristocrats, Bruster said.

“Getting such a sumptuous image on your title page may have said, to Elizabethan readers, that something quite elegant, and important, was inside these books,” Bruster said.

English sophomore Taylor Moore said Bruster’s findings confirm what she has always thought and heard about Shakespeare.

“He had to work extremely hard to overcome class and educational boundaries to situate himself as a respected writer within the Elizabethan era,” Moore said. “The discovery of an ornamental brand, used to signify prestige to readers, just further supports this idea.”

Richard Field, Shakespeare’s friend and publisher, was very deliberate in his use of ornaments and printed the design on the title page of each of Shakespeare’s poems, Bruster said.

Shakespeare lacked the educational background that other writers during his time had, but his poems “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece” cemented his reputation as a leading writer, Bruster said, and the Lady 8 ornament that embellished these poems added a visual luxury to his poetry and came to stand for his achievement.

“The Lady 8 ornament was employed for a few books earlier,” Bruster said. “But when it was used for his first publications, it came to stand for them, their success and eventually the era he represented. It stands as a long-neglected ‘brand’ for a writer who was much more famous — much earlier than we sometimes like to think.”

Moore said Bruster’s research may change the way society views Shakespeare’s rise as a poet.

“I think these findings will force modern readers to think even more about the impact class had on the reception of Shakespeare’s work,” Moore said.

English professor Mary Blockley said Bruster’s research offers new knowledge about the highly acclaimed poet.

“The forging of this link … does prove there is always more to be known about even this best-known of English authors,” Blockley said.

Tommy Joe Kelley was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week for the unlawful use of a criminal instrument to puncture car tires in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

David Conner, president of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, said Kelley was responsible for thousands of dollars of tire damage over the past 16 years, but his homelessness made it difficult to stop his actions.

“All we could do was just call the police when something happened,” Conner said. “Nobody could really do anything when he was just walking around the neighborhood.”

Conner said the Neighborhood Association was getting ready to install security cameras to record him puncturing tires, but he was arrested last December before they were installed.

Virginia Vasquez, judicial aid for Judge Julie Kocurek, said Kelley represented himself in trial and had his four other charges reset for trial next December.

“The trial started on Monday at 1:30 p.m. and ended Wednesday around 4 p.m.,” Vasquez said. “But he will be going to court again soon for his other charges.”

UT English alumna Taylor Moore said she saw homeless people, including Kelley, walking through Hyde Park frequently when she lived there.

“I would see him staring in the mirrors of cars and screaming at himself,” Moore said.

Moore said she had her tires damaged after an uncomfortable experience with Kelley.

“One day, he asked if I could give him a blanket and socks,” Moore said. “I only had a blanket to give him from my car, and he became really mad at me and said I was unkind.”

After this event, Moore said she returned to her home in the morning and found that two of her tires were flat.

“The two driver’s side tires were flat, and the cost to repair was around $250,” Moore said.

Moore said the damage to her tires matches the description of the tool Kelley was found using when he was arrested last December.

“At first, I didn’t notice any kind of hole in my tires, and I thought they were just flat,” Moore said. “AAA came and tried to fill them up, but they found many very small holes, so we knew it was intentional damage.”

Conner said he is happy with Kelley’s sentencing because he was causing more problems for Hyde Park than puncturing tires.

“He used to urinate and drink alcohol in the park,” Conner said. “He probably needs some mental help also, so hopefully the police and courts can take care of the situation.”