The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2292 Thursday, 4 October 2001
Date: Wednesday, 3 Oct 2001 20:03:55 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Robert Bearman
I just came back from Dr. Robert Berman's lecture at the Shakespeare
Centre entitled "Shakespeare: A Warwickshire Lad -- or Partly a
Lancashire One?" (which I referred to in one of my old postings).
Everyone who is interested in the Lancastrian theories or Shakespeare
biography in general MUST read his essay once it is published.
To make his 1-hour lecture (very) short, Dr. Bearman convincingly
reinforced Douglas Hamer's 1970 work "Was William Shakespeare William
Shakeshafte?" by bringing in more archival evidence he had found. He
presented empirical evidence that there were a number of Shakeshaftes in
Lancashire, among whom were William Shakeshaftes. He also re-examined
the annuitants in Alexander Houghton's will and disclaimed Honigmann's
counter-argument to Hamer's work. (At the end of his lecture he briefly
added his analysis of John Shakespeare's "Spiritual Testament".)
If history repeats itself (as it has been said that it does) it is more
than likely that activist Lancastrians will hit back, as they have done
repeatedly in the past. What evidence will they present? Are there more
things in heaven and Lancashire than are dreamt in (y)our philosophy?
Only time will tell us...
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