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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Stratford
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0425  Tuesday, 9 May 2006

From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 16:49:30 +0100
Subject: 17.0416 Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0416 Stratford

John Briggs is right to point out that the brick wall of the Georgian pub 
was flush with the adjacent timber-framed wall, and that the brick must 
have been structural.  I should add that the upper windows of the pub 
would've cut through the timbers of the Tudor building behind it. 
Assuming that no builder would be fool enough to cut through these beams 
and then further encourage collapse by adding a weighty "brick skin" to 
the outside, we may safely conclude that our eyes are not deceiving us and 
that the eastern half of the "Birthplace" was a Georgian building.  It is 
revealing that the Victorian architect couldn't even be bothered to add a 
persuasive curve to any of his new timbers.

As for the western half, if we compare the levels of the thick horizontal 
beams that separate the two storeys, we note four different levels in the 
old photograph (two at the front above the two shops and two at the side 
of the building) while the modern "Birthplace" has only one single level 
that neatly giftwraps the whole confection.  Again, this suggests a 
complete rebuild.  I therefore stand by my previous assertion that the 
Birthplace Trust demolished the original buildings.  The "Birthplace" is 
no more the birthplace of WS than the New Globe in London is the old 
Globe.  Both are reconstructions based on sketches.

Changing the subject, but keeping to Stratford, I note that Ian Wilson 
also challenges the claims made by the Shakespeare Industry for 'Mary 
Arden's House'.  I quote ...

"The problem is that only the less-than-reliable word of John Jordon 
attests that the house ever belonged to any member of the Arden family. 
Such records that exist show that in Robert Arden's time it was actually 
owned by one Thomas Finderne of Nuneaton, and that in 1561 it was sold on 
to an Adam Palmer and George Gibbs".

Wilson, the non-scholar, appears to have this information from Mark 
Eccles, 'Shakespeare in Warwickshire', Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1963.

Are any SHAKSPERians able to confirm or deny Wilson's assertions?

Peter Bridgman

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