The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0425 Tuesday, 9 May 2006
From: Peter Bridgman <
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?
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