Tag Archives: Leslie Hotson
Evidence of the Shakespeares and the wool trade: John Shakespeare named in the PRO

Shakespeare For Fear of Death 3

‘As for an authentic villain, the real thing, the absolute, the artist, one rarely meets him even once in a lifetime. The ordinary bad hat is always in part a decent fellow.’ Colette William Ingram in his 1978 biography of Francis Langley, A London Life in the Brazen Age, described the builder of the Swan […]

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Photo: The Guardian

Shakespeare For Fear of Death 2

“England. Be it known that William Shakspere, Francis Langley, Dorothy Soer wife of John Soer, and Anne Lee, for fear of death…”. King’s Bench, Controlment Roll, Michaelmas Term 1596, K.B. 29/234: In the England of 1596 those fearful of “death or mutilations” could appeal to the judicial process to head off a potential attack. In […]

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Leslie Hotson's 1931 book

Shakespeare For Fear of Death 1

In Shakespeare versus Shallow (1931), Leslie Hotson wrote that if you wanted to look for new facts about William Shakespeare’s life then you should not “turn to the standard biographies for nourishment” as these were not about research but were merely capitalizing on the results of earlier findings. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, did not sit well […]

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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust portrait of William Shakespeare

How did Shakespeare make his money?

‘Shakespeare (whom you and every playhouse bill Style the divine! the matchless! what you will), For gain, not glory, wing’d his roving flight, And grew immortal in his own despite…’ Alexander Pope, 1737. Peter Thomson called ambiguity “a happy hunting ground for the critic” and ambiguity is still maintained by many around the life of […]

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