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Shakespeare's Lost Years in London, 1586-1592   By: (1864-1930)

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SHAKESPEARE'S LOST YEARS IN LONDON

1586 1592

SHAKESPEARE'S LOST YEARS IN LONDON

1586 1592

Giving new light on the pre Sonnet period; showing the inception of relations between Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton and displaying

JOHN FLORIO

AS

SIR JOHN FALSTAFF

BY

ARTHUR ACHESON

AUTHOR OF "SHAKESPEARE AND THE RIVAL POET" "MISTRESS DAVENANT, THE DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS", ETC.

NEW YORK BRENTANO'S 1920

All rights reserved

TO MY SONS

ARTHUR MURRAY ACHESON

AND

ALEXANDER G. ACHESON

I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME

"The purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure."

Hamlet , Act III. Scene ii.

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. INTRODUCTORY 1

II. THE STRATFORD DAYS, 1564 1586 19

III. SHAKESPEARE, THE BURBAGES, AND EDWARD ALLEYN, 1586 1591 38

IV. SHAKESPEARE AND THE EARL OF PEMBROKE'S COMPANY, 1591 1594 72

V. SHAKESPEARE AND THE SCHOLARS, 1588 1592 90

VI. THE POLITICAL PURPOSE OF KING JOHN , 1591 1592 131

VII. INCEPTION OF THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN SHAKESPEARE AND THE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, 1591 1594 150

VIII. JOHN FLORIO AS SIR JOHN FALSTAFF'S ORIGINAL 181

APPENDIX

1. Dedication of Florio's Second Fruites , 1591 223

2. Address to the Reader from Florio's Second Fruites , 1591 229

3. Dedication of Florio's Worlde of Wordes , 1598 233

4. Address to the Reader from Florio's Worlde of Wordes , 1598 242

5. John Florio's Will, 1625 252

INDEX 257

SHAKESPEARE'S LOST YEARS IN LONDON

1586 1592

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY

The most interesting and important fifteen years in the records of English dramatic literature are undoubtedly those between 1588 and 1603, within which limit all of Shakespeare's poems and the majority of his plays were written; yet no exhaustive English history, intelligently co ordinating the social, literary, and political life of this period, has ever been written.

Froude, the keynote of whose historical work is contained in his assertion that "the Reformation was the root and source of the expansive force which has spread the Anglo Saxon race over the globe," recognising a logical and dramatic climax for his argument in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, ends his history in that year; while Gardiner, whose historical interest was as much absorbed by the Puritan Revolution as was Froude's by the Reformation, finds a fitting beginning for his subject in the accession of James I. in 1603. Thus an historical hiatus is left which has never been exhaustively examined. To the resulting lack of a clearly defined historical background for those years on the part of Shakespearean critics and compilers who are not as a rule also students of original sources of history may be imputed much of the haziness which still exists regarding Shakespeare's relations to, and the manner in which his work may have been influenced by, the literary, social, and political life of this period.

The defeat of the Armada ended a long period of threatened danger for England, and the following fifteen years of Elizabeth's reign were passed in comparative security. The social life of London and the Court now took on, by comparison with the troubled past, an almost Augustan phase... Continue reading book >>




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