Friday, December 26, 2008


Besides setting up this blog, I spent a little time with Shapiro's book on Shakespeare in 1599.  I was struck by how narrow the margin of creativity can be. Shapiro reckons there were 15 active playwrights in London at the time. It seems like a lot for a city of 200K, but on the other hand, it doesn't seem like much between all of Elizabethan drama and nothing at all. I notice that legislation could certainly count as one of the uncertainties about the future, and I suspect that this is an increasingly prominent part of calculations in the period, especially as the succession loomed larger in everyone's minds.   That and the plague!

1 comment:

  1. On our way down to Pennsylvania for Christmas we listened to Bill Bryson's Shakespeare book. While of course not scholarly, it was still very good and interesting, perfect for a long car ride. I especially liked his debunking of people who think Shakespeare must have been someone else, e.g. De Vere.
    Have you read the Greenblatt?