05-09-2007 10:58 PM
No full ms of a produced Elizabethan or Jacobean play survives. We do have a ms copy of the un-produced 'Sir Thomas More' which supposedly have some contributions in Sh.'s own hand. No one cared much about manuscript in the early modern period--when the thing was set in type, the original was usually discarded, as I explain in the novel. Paper was useful for lots of things besides writing on and fairly expensive, as it was hand-made from rags.
05-14-2007 12:25 AM
Well, we do know a good deal about the period Sh. lived in. Reams have been written about it, and that's one of the astounding things about Sh.--how little we know about him compared to what we know about his contemporaries, which is quite a bit. Sh. is _unusually_, even _uniquely_ obscure, given his prominence during his own lifetime.
Hi Mr. Gruber~
That is one of the most fascinating things I have always wondered about Shakespeare. It strikes me as very interesting that we know so much about this time period, the turn of the 17th century, and yet we know so little about the Bard himself. I read, a few years ago, "Will in the World," which was a biography of Shakespeare based on his plays. It was one of the first real biographies I had read of Shakespeare and I remember being struck by how little we actually know about him. I know you have commented before, as have others, that it is a quirk that his is one of the best-known names in the world, not just in literature but in general, and yet he himself is such a ghost. And that goes double considering how much historians know about the time period in which he lived!