2013

Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0166  Thursday, 11 April 2013

 

[1] From:        John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 10, 2013 3:47:52 PM EDT

     Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Businessman 

 

[2] From:        Jinny Webber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 10, 2013 7:48:58 PM EDT

     Subject:     Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader 

 

[3] From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 11, 2013 12:10:46 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

[4] From:        Leonie Viljoen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 11, 2013 9:40:55 AM EDT

     Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Businessman 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 10, 2013 3:47:52 PM EDT

Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

Clearly Michael Egan has never encountered a consummate and persuasive politician! Two words should disabuse him . . . Tony Blair.  And as for sincerity . . . How does he know Shakespeare was sincere?

 

This is precisely the kind of romantic claptrap that stands in the way of a serious biography of Shakespeare. 

 

Cheers

John Drakakis

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Jinny Webber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 10, 2013 7:48:58 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader

 

I keep waiting for Germaine Greer to enter the fray. In Shakespeare’s Wife, she has a lot to say about housewives making malt. 

 

Greer doesn’t blame Ann Shakespeare for the hoarding; rather she describes the economy of running a household like New Place, what was involved in malt-making, the chief industry of Stratford-upon-Avon, and includes a petition from its citizens protesting “the royal proclamation forbidding the making of malt from Ladyday, 25 March, to Michelmas, 29 September, so that there would be more grain on the market and prices could be kept down.” (225)

 

Ann was in Stratford and Will was in London.  “All the work associated with New Place . . . would have been overseen by Ann Shakespeare. . . . . As no [steward] appears in the record, the best guess is that Ann was both housekeeper and steward. Within months of acquiring New Place Shakespeare is listed as a holder of malt; the malt was almost certainly made by Ann or under her supervision.” (Greer, 217).

 

Ann Hathaway Shakespeare was an enterprising woman running a big establishment, possibly lending money, and taking care of her family. Whether her necessary and not-uncommon activities condemn Shakespeare as a greedy businessman is not for me to say, but at least Germaine Greer’s arguments (which I have read elsewhere and which James Shapiro touches on in Contested Will) should be mentioned in this debate. Apologies, Germaine, if I’m not doing full justice to your book.

 

Jinny Webber

www.jinnywebber.com

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 11, 2013 12:10:46 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

You can claim he was just faking it, but sincerity is the soul of art. These great works would never have endured if built on lies, hypocrisy, and guilt.

 

Is Michael Egan saying that the distance between Shakespeare’s business practices and the words in the plays attributed to him is so wide that they couldn’t be the same bloke?

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Leonie Viljoen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 11, 2013 9:40:55 AM EDT

Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Businessman

 

There is also E.L. Risden’s Beowulf for Business, of course. Hardly Shakespeare, but the approach is not new.

 

Best

Leonie

 

Global Shakespeares Series

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0165  Thursday, 11 April 2013

From:        Tom Reedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 10, 2013 6:21:20 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Global Shakespeares

 

Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

 

>A Chinese opera King Lear in which one actor plays Lear and 

>his daughters.

>

> This is obviously a joke. The information was dated April 1st 

>and the tears still run unchecked from my eyes. 

 

Most likely, but unfortunately I saw just such a production a few years ago. Or I should say I saw it until the intermission.


Tom Reedy

 

[Editor’s Note: No, not a joke. This is the joint project out of MIT with Peter Donaldson and Alex Huang: http://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/# -Hardy] 

 

Global Shakespeares Series

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0163  Wednesday, 10 April 2013

 

From:        Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 9, 2013 4:10:42 AM EDT

Subject:     Global Shakespeares

 

I was delighted to hear the announcement from Global Shakespeares that we will shortly be able to encounter

 

A Brazilian street theatre version of Romeo and Juliet - on stilts 

 

A Chinese opera King Lear in which one actor plays Lear and his daughters

 

A Japanese Hamlet who sits motionless on stage whilst mechanical dolls enact his thoughts.

 

This is obviously a joke. The information was dated April 1st and the tears still run unchecked from my eyes. 

 

Terence Hawkes 

 

Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0164  Wednesday, 10 April 2013

 

[1] From:        Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 8, 2013 5:48:27 PM EDT

     Subject:     Shakespeare Businessman 

 

[2] From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 8, 2013 7:05:09 PM EDT

     Subject:     Shakespeare a Tax-Evading Hoarder 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 8, 2013 5:48:27 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare Businessman

 

Obviously this matter of Shakespeare’s ruthless profiteering in times of famine has touched a nerve. 

 

Joseph Egert tries to whitewash it by calling it “grain dealing.” Bob Bearman pleads that Shakespeare 

 

wasn’t “doing anything illegal,” he was “simply found in possession” of more malt than “the less well-to-do.” 

 

Bearman leaves out the corn, the barley and the wheat, the money lending, the hard-hearted litigation over small amounts, but calls the poor and starving “less well-to-do.”  When they were hungry enough Shakespeare gouged them. John Drakakis wants to know “Why on earth should we think that the dramatist who wrote King Lear could not also be an absolute sod when dealing with his neighbours?"

 

The answer is that this is the same man who could write:

 

Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,

That slaves your ordinance, that will not see

Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly; 

So distribution should undo excess, 

And each man have enough.

 

and

 

Take physic, pomp;

Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,

That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,

And show the heavens more just.

 

You can claim he was just faking it, but sincerity is the soul of art. These great works would never have endured if built on lies, hypocrisy, and guilt.

 

Michael Egan

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 8, 2013 7:05:09 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare a Tax-Evading Hoarder  

 

But is he alone?

 

Farmer Brown lived down our way,

Raised the best alfalfa hay;

Kept it for a rainy day,

Gosh-dern speculatin' jay.

His hay caught fire and burned one day.

He’s still got piles and piles, they say.

    Hoosier Hot Shots, “Piles of It”

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

Bard of Avon Origin

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0162  Wednesday, 10 April 2013

 

From:        David Frankel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 8, 2013 3:16:43 PM EDT

Subject:     Bard of Avon

 

A friend pointed me to “Cursory remarks on Mr. Warburton’s new edition of Mr. Pope’s works: Occasioned by that modern commentator’s injurious treatment, ... of the author of the life of Socrates. ... By John Gilbert Cooper, Esq; author of The Life of Socrates” on Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=3s9bAAAAQAAJ&).  Searching for “Bard of Avon” will take you to page 28 and the following:

 

I fuppofe it was upon the fame confcientious Principle, that, during this charitable Delay, he bufied himfelf in making new and revifing his old Notes upon the immortal Bard of Avon; and having carried his victorious Pen fo far as to flatten the Strains of that Son of Imagination, by correcting the original Text

 

The book is from 1751, so 18 years before the Shakespeare Jubilee.

 

C. David Frankel

Assistant Director of Theatre

University of South Florida

 

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