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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: July ::
Re: Absent Bear
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1592  Thursday, 4 July 2002

From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 Jul 2002 14:02:54 +0100
Subject: 13.1574 Re: Absent Bear
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1574 Re: Absent Bear

While we're on the subject of the bear in The Winter's Tale, I wonder if
anybody else noticed the essay "Polar Performances" by Teresa Grant in
the TLS of 14 June, which claimed that "exit pursued by a bear" could
now be explained by Philip Henslowe's possession of a polar bear.

According to Grant, Henslowe was "Shakespeare's manager", his activities
"included management of the Globe, [and] the King's Men" and thus he had
an "ever-increasing stranglehold on London entertainment". These
startling claims were not the basis of Grant's discovery but were
presented as the common knowledge that allowed her to link what she'd
discovered about Henslowe's ownership of bears to the stage direction in
The Winter's Tale.

Three issues of TLS have appeared since Grant's essay, but none carries
an acknowledgement that the main link in its argument is untrue. Anybody
else want to try telling them?

Gabriel Egan

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