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Publicity about the project

The completed work of the Casebooks Project was officially launched in May 2019. The University of Cambridge Communications Office issued a press release that included a film about the casebooks. The story received international media attention and our main site was visited 20,000 times in three days. Here are some highlights. The day of the release, we were featured by the BBC and the Guardian, and the story ran on BBC Radio 2, Radio Scotland and the World Service. The following day, Lauren Kassell was interviewed live on Newsday, the World Service’s premier programme (17 May, 7:25am GMT, at c. 19:28). In the weeks that followed, she gave longer interviews on ABC Australia’s Late Night Live and BYU Radio’s Constant Wonder. Further UK coverage included ITV and the Daily Mail. CNET, Newsweek, EurekAlert!, a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Smithsonian.com picked up the story, and John Dickerson mentioned it on the Slate Gabfest (at around 52 minutes in). Versions of the story ran in The Irish Times, on Spektrum.de, Zap.aeiou, and T13.

For publicity about Astrologaster, the computer game featuring Simon Forman, see the Nyamyam Games twitter feed. Listen to Katharine Neil, the game’s writer, tell its origin story on Talking Simulator. Listen to Lauren Kassell talk about Casebooks and Astrologaster on History Respawned, or watch a video that combines extracts from that interview with footage from the game. Astrologaster has received four-star reviews in the Guardian and the LA Times and numerous rave reviews in the game press (see for instance the review at Rock Paper Shotgun, and the Top 10 Best NEW Indie Games of May 2019). It is possible to watch a run through of the game at GiantBomb.com.

The exhibition ‘CASEBOOKS: Six contemporary artists and an extraordinary medical archive’ (17 March–23 April 2017, Ambika P3, London NW1 5LS) received the following press. Reviews: Eddy Frankel’s playful write-up for Time Out gave the exhibition four stars. Laura Cumming in ‘Three more to see’, The Observer New Review, 2 April 2017, called it ‘unmissable’. Tabish Khan judged CASEBOOKS ‘bonkers, but brilliant’: Londonist, 13 April, ‘Art review: a talking cow and a computer astrologer’. Mary Halton wrote ‘Here you’ll find artists ready to tease out our modern and oh-so-technologically advanced relationship with the alchemical, the astrological and the anatomical’: New Scientist, 7 April, ‘Making an art out of medical record keeping’. Helen Bynum and Bill Bynum wrote, ‘After four centuries … Forman has come back to London. He’s done it in style, but in ways undreamed of in his lifetime’: The Lancet, 15 April 2017. Feature: Litro, 8 April: interview with Lynn Hershman Leeson by Ellie Broughton. Previews: Wall Street International, 2 March, ‘Casebooks’. Art Daily, ‘Six contemporary artists respond to a vast astrological archive’. British Medical Journal, 18 March, ‘The big picture, creative consultations’, picture preview. An Artists’ Newsletter, 20 March, ‘Casebooks, Ambika P3, University of Westminster’, picture preview. FX, picture preview, April issue. Other listings: The List, April 2017. FAD magazine, 16 April, ‘The top 7 art exhibitions to see in London this week’.


Casebooks was selected as one of three research projects to participate in the Epic Games and Wellcome Trust Big Data Challenge.

Technical director Michael Hawkins was interviewed by Wired magazine for Emiko Jozuka’s article ‘Big Data VR [Virtual Reality] Challenge Wants to Take Research to the Next Level’, 26 March 2015.

Project director Lauren Kassell features prominently in Elijah Wolfson’s article Your Zodiac Sign, Your Health in The Atlantic, 15 November 2013.

An account of Simon Forman’s Notebooks is hosted by the Skyscript website.

A report on the project, Written in the Stars, was released on the Cambridge University website on 1 February 2013.

On December 19 2011, the Astrology News Service asked of Forman, Is This Man Astrology’s Worst PR Nightmare?

Forman and the project featured in ‘Vier Jahrzehnte Kritzelei’ (‘Four Decades of Scribbling’), an article by Laura Höflinger in German magazine Der Spiegel, in December 2011.

In October 2011, the Sydney Morning Herald reproduced an interview with project director Lauren Kassell.

A posting from Sylvia Morris on The Shakespeare Blog, on the subject of Simon Forman, Shakespeare, and the Stage appeared in September 2011.

Also in September 2011, Cambridge Research News released an article on Magic and Medicine.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death, Simon Forman’s life and writings were featured in ‘The Astrologer’s Tables’, History Today, September 2011, by Lauren Kassell.

On a less academic note, the Guardian cryptic crossword no. 25,107 (published 4 September 2010) included among its answers a number of thinly-disguised allusions to the staff and subject matter of the Casebooks Project.

Cite this as: Lauren Kassell, Michael Hawkins, Robert Ralley, and John Young, ‘Publicity about the project’, A Critical Introduction to the Casebooks of Simon Forman and Richard Napier, 1596–1634, https://casebooks.lib.cam.ac.uk/about-us/publicity-about-the-project, accessed 31 October 2020.