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Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0166  Thursday, 11 April 2013

 

[1] From:        John Drakakis < This e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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

 
 

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