Me neither. Yet for those who do, a new book called The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl is what the NYT describes as, “ [the author] embarked on a painstaking investigation into the particulars of the lawsuit, the family that rented rooms to the middle-aged playwright and life on Silver Street, where Shakespeare “laye” (that is, resided) from about 1603 to 1605, a period when he wrote, among other plays, “Macbeth,” “All’s Well That Ends Well” and ‘Measure for Measure.’”
The book description states, “With evidence from a wide variety of sources, Nicholl creates a compelling, detailed account of the circumstances in which Shakespeare lived and worked during the time in which he wrote such plays as Othello, Measure for Measure, and King Lear. The case also throws new light on the puzzling story of Shakespeare’s collaboration with the hack author and violent brothel owner George Wilkins.”
There is no doubt that Shakespeare has evolved into somewhat of a god-figure to the point that critics wonder how he might have used the toilet. But few seem to recall that during his day, there were many playwrights in England and Shakespeare’s name did not become what it is today until centuries after his death.
So in other words, he was just a guy who wrote some plays and some poems here and there, and this book, the result of a “historical detective” will certainly fascinate some.
Click here for the full NYT review.