Smith, Digges, and Dee

Learning by listening During the early years with Smith, apart from his more or less formal lessons, Edward would have learned a great deal from conversations carried on between his tutor and members of his scholarly circle.  With so many of their friends fled the country or forced into silence and inactivity by the Catholic … Continue reading Smith, Digges, and Dee

Smith’s library

Sir Thomas Smith’s 1566 library list In August of 1566, Oxford’s former tutor, Sir Thomas Smith, made a list in one of the notebooks he used for such things of the more than 400 titles in his personal library at that time.  (This notebook is now located in the Old Library at Smith’s alma mater, Queens’ College Cambridge). … Continue reading Smith’s library

Works cited from my upcoming book Shakespeare and the Public Stage

Akrigg, G.P.V. Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1968. A.B.G., Rev., ed. “The Spending of the Money of Robert Nowell.” Towneley MS. 490.c.13 or G.1401. British Library, London. Adams, Barry B., ed. John Bale’s King Johan. Princeton, NJ: Huntington Library, 1969. Alexander, Mark Andre. “Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Law: A Journey through the History of … Continue reading Works cited from my upcoming book Shakespeare and the Public Stage

Thereby hangs a tale

For centuries English play-goers and readers had been contented with the claim that someone named William Shakespeare was responsible for the plays performed and published under that name. Despite the fact that the name was, and still is, a pun that rather obviously describes what he did––give actors pretending to be soldiers reasons for shaking … Continue reading Thereby hangs a tale

“Tragical trifles . . . darkly figured forth”

In the 15th and 16th centuries, modern imaginative literature (poetry, novels and plays) errupted out of feudal darkness at the courts of European kings and princes, for nowhere else was there the leisure to create it or the literacy to enjoy it.  This is not to say that the uneducated and illiterate did not have … Continue reading “Tragical trifles . . . darkly figured forth”