It’s 2011, and you know what that means: It’s the 400th birthday year of the King James version of the Holy Bible, known to friends and admirers as the “KJV.” In addition to a traveling exhibit that will be on view through January, the Folger Shakespeare Library is celebrating with three days of lectures and panels—complete with tea breaks—that take stock of the tome’s impact through the years. Tonight’s offering is rock-star academic Jill Lepore, a Harvard history professor, staff writer at the New Yorker, and one of America’s most able translators of history. Her last big project was a brief book that examined the Tea Party’s relationship with its Revolutionary War roots, though her current project—“a history of life and death”—sounds a bit more panoptic. The subject of tonight’s lecture is the influence of the KJV in the United States, which, in light of the current political climate, could be quite enlightening indeed.
Lepore speaks at 6 p.m. at The Folger Elizabethan Theater, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. $15. (202) 544-4600.