Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm for the Glove-maker's Son...

I'm nearing the end (thank God) of a book called Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith.  I was going to go off on a profanity-laced rant in this post, but I've had some time to think about it and had a drink and I'm a bit calmer now.  This book (ostensibly a novel) is used to push forward the theory that William Shakespeare, the glove maker's son from Startford-on-Avon, was not the man who wrote the world's greatest poetry and drama.  According to her book, the Earl of Oxford is the best bet to be the man who wrote Shakespeare's words.  I have two problems with this theory, first she goes through the whole book saying there was no way the Avon Shakespeare could have known what he did about gentry life.  It makes a case that it is nearly impossible for ordinary people to do extraordinary things.  My other problem is that it takes away a lot of the legend from storybook England.

I believe in storybook England.  It may not be right at  the surface all the time, but I'm sure that somewhere on a plane between sweet green earth and steely grey sky in England there exists this entire other world created by the country's artists and writers.  I believe in Manderley and Pemberley and Thornfield.  I believe in Haworth Parsonage and three sisters sitting together on dark Yorkshire nights writing stories that became masterpieces.  I'm for Christopher Robin and the Hundred Acre Wood.  I believe in Arthur and his Knights.  I'm for Chaucer, More and Keats.  I'm for the Glove-maker's son.

1 comment: