“There is a History in All Men’s Lives”
Shakespeare Biography and Shakespeare Studies
These items demonstrate that Shakespeare has been constantly reinterpreted according to the impressions of those who study and evaluate his works.
Sara Hawks Sterling
Philadelphia: G.W. Jacobs, 1905
In this novel, Sterling borrows from the annals of history to recreate her own version of Anne Hathaway’s romance with Shakespeare which is meant to be written from Hathaway’s point of view. Unsuccessful in her efforts to put him off (as Anne believed herself unworthy), the pair fell in love. With a family dead-set against marriage, a secret wedding, mental illness, betrayal, and revenge, the story of William as imagined to be told by his bride leaves the reader wondering just where the inspiration for Romeo and Juliet came from…
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1909
If you thought the movie Anonymous was a fresh and original take on the man we know as Shakespeare, you’ll be interested to know that it was a road – though less travelled – paved long before. Mark Twain, one of our country’s most celebrated authors and humorists, lends his characteristic wit to Is Shakespeare Dead??? in which he posits that Shakespeare works were…not by Shakespeare.
London: R. Bentley & Son,1882
Fanny Kemble drew from her many experiences starring in Shakespeare’s plays to write this book. Kemble was a prolific diarist and published her journals she authored while traveling abroad. Her other publications include Records of a Girlhood (1878), Records of a Later Life (1882), Far Away and Long Ago (1889), and Further Records (1891). Kemble died in London on January 15, 1893.
Franklin H. Head
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1926
After much debate about the chronology of Shakespeare’s works, Head attempts to assign a timeline based upon the significance of repeated references to insomnia in his plays. The author suggests that these allusions are prevalent because Shakespeare himself suffered from the condition.
Philip Francis Samuels
Boston: Samuels-Bacon Publishing, 1933
An unusual contribution to the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, Man v’ Ape is, with great license, a copiously annotated edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Samuels uses numeric, symbolic, linguistic, and Biblical interpretations to posit that Francis Bacon (a contemporary of Shakespeare and Samuels’ presumed ‘true’ author of Hamlet) had predicted the coming of Samuels as the reincarnated Jehovah in order to lead the Jewish people into an independent state in Palestine.