Thursday, July 15, 2010


Welcome to Sex and Gender in Shakespeare's Theatre. I'll be posting here twice a week: news, reviews, and links on Tuesdays and my own little essays on Fridays, at least once that I'm back in town. This summer's schedule will be looser.
I look forward to your responses!

My novel 'The Secret Player' opens in 1591, with William Shakespeare first mentioned in Chapter IV and appearing as a character in Chapter VIII.

There are those who cannot believe the son of a Stratford-upon-Avon glovemaker could have written Shakespeare's plays--the current candidate of choice is Edward de Vere, the sixteenth Earl of Oxford. Robert Emmerich's film 'Anonymous,' now in production, takes this point of view. This is the so-called authorship controversy: 'Contested Will,' as James Shapiro has entitled his book on the topic.

My Shakespeare is not the lace-collared gentleman currently favored: he more resembles the image here, the so-called 'Chandos' portrait. Sharp brown eyes, an ear ring, thinning hair--and not a scrap of lace. His name is William Shakespeare, and he wrote the plays attributed to him. That portrait most likely was not painted from life, but never mind. Our delight is in his plays, not their authorship. You won't find that debate in my novel: its mystery lies elsewhere.

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