Local Records

Alan Somerset

in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566105
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Local Records

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The condescension towards genealogical research was unwise and has since been discarded, because genealogists have proven to be staunch contributors, supporters, and defenders of record-office budgets and facilities. This article notes that investigation into records connected to Shakespeare began with genealogy, and was for centuries driven by genealogy. It examines the various local records on the life of William Shakespeare. The article discusses various forgeries, which entered the world of Shakespeare's records almost from the beginning of investigating records, because of their attractiveness as a means of promoting one's view of Shakespeare and enhancing one's own reputation. The article also examines the degree to which the Lord Chamberlains' Men/King's Men were affected, in their provincial travels, by the ‘anti-theatrical prejudice’. The discussion pursues the question of selectivity and completeness, governed by the understanding of the purpose and relevance of the materials being collected.

Keywords: Shakespeare's records; William Shakespeare; forgery; genealogical research; genealogy; anti-theatrical prejudice

Article.  8953 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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