Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
John Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1849  Thursday, 7 October 2004

[1]     From:   Bill Lloyd <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Oct 2004 09:28:14 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1836 John Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Jim Lake <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Oct 2004 11:16:34 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1836 John Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Lloyd <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 6 Oct 2004 09:28:14 EDT
Subject: 15.1836 John Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1836 John Shakespeare

Bill wrote:

 >I think the reason there has been no "full-scale biography" of John
 >Shakespeare or John Heminges is that there is simply not enough material
 >from which to construct one. A chapter or an article, yes; a full-scale
 >biography, no.
 >
 >For John Heminges [and a number of other early modern theatre people of
 >significance] see the newly published Oxford Dictionary of National
 >Biography, now [or soon to be] available at your library [or to very
 >rich people], or by subscription on-line.

Dennis wrote:

 >Actually there may be more biographical (as opposed to theatrical)
 >details available about John than about his son (about whom hundreds of
 >biographies have been written). If you do a "John Shakespeare" search in
 >the "Shakespeare and Religion Chronology"
 >
 >http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/relarts/shakespeare/shakespeare.html
 >
 >you will pull up many details, each of which needs to be imbedded in the
 >complex contexts of the time.
 >
 >I understand that Professor Bearman is soon to publish a biographical
 >article on John in the Shakespeare Quarterly

Bill replies:

I suppose it depends on what one means by a "full-scale" biography. It
is too true that hundreds of biographies have been written about William
Shakespeare, and almost without exception they have been filled out with
a lot of material about Shakespeare's 'times' [not necessarily a bad
thing] and material from the works [often dangerously used to illustrate
his character, opinions, etc].  Even Schoenbaum's *William Shakespeare:
A Compact Documentary Life* [at just over 300 pages a piker by today's
"full-scale" standards] while eschewing speculative excess includes a
fair amount of Stratford and London context material.

If that is what is being sought for John Shakespeare and John Heminge,
I'm sure several hundred pages could be produced with the help of 'John
Shakespeare's Stratford" and 'John Heminge's Times and Stage'.  Of
course most of that context would be identical with the context we've
been provided in biographies of John Shakespeare's son and John
Heminge's fellow.

But perhaps I'm quibbling. It's not necessarily a bad thing for each
biographical detail to be "imbedded in the complex contexts of the
time"-- even modern "full-scale" biographies do some of that.  But
compared to a biography of Lord Byron or Virginia Woolf or Graham
Greene, or even Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford [out now from Alan Nelson
and highly recommended] the actual *biography* of the *person* that
could be written about The Two Johnnies would perforce be much smaller--
perhaps about the size of a chapter or an article. I look forward to
reading Prof. Bearman's biographical article.

Bill Lloyd

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Lake <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 6 Oct 2004 11:16:34 -0500
Subject: 15.1836 John Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1836 John Shakespeare

There is quite a bit about John Shakespeare in Peter Razzell's William
Shakespeare: The Anatomy of an Enigma (1990). Some of Razzell's ideas
are more conjectural than others--John was his son's model for Falstaff,
for instance--but the book is a very good read.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.