Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A look at Shakespeare

I got a package from my father the other day. This does not sound particularly entertaining, until you learn that it came in a University Bookstore box and was no doubt sent from there, since my father works in the shipping department, and that I live five blocks away from the University Bookstore. Oh, my parents. It was fun to get mail, though.

Anyway, in the box I found a Halloween card, a bar of chocolate, and two books. One of them was the play Dancing at Lughnasa, by Brian Friel, which does look interesting, but the other book is the one that particularly caught my eye.

This is The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street, by Charles Nicholl. Apparently there is a record of the testimony Shakespeare gave in a court case over an unpaid dowry in 1612, the only spoken words of his that are recorded. His testimony relates to his time as a lodger in the house of a French immigrant family called the Mountjoys, and the biography focuses on this period in his life and his circumstances when he lived there. I've never read a biography of Shakespeare, and while I assume the book will go into some discussion of the rest of his life, I think it will be fascinating to read something about him so closely focused. And something which sounds surprisingly original for a book about Shakespeare.

I'm really looking forward to reading this. Let's hope I can find some time for it.

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