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Very Good. Illustrated printed wrappers, 4to. 39 pp. From the blurb: "The truth about Shakespeare's life and the authenticity of works attributed to him has tantalised scholars for nearly four hundred years. Many have refused to believe that the son of a Warwickshire wool dealer could become a great dramatist, and have argued that the plays were written by Francis Bacon or the Earl of Oxford. None of Shakespeare's personal papers-letters, notes, drafts-have survived, and this has encouraged speculation to the point where it is difficult to distinguish fact from fantasy-or wishful thinking. This intriguing book presents the facts about a man called William Shakespeare, who spent part of his life in Stratford and part in London's theatrical world, by examining every known reference to him in the records of government and the law courts at the Public Record Office-the largest collection of records relating to Shakespeare. He appears as a taxpayer; as a willmaker, bequeathing Ann Hathaway his 'second best bed' only; as a shareholder and partner in the Globe and Blackfriars theatres, and as a witness in a case over a disputed dowry payment. Some newly discovered documents shedding light on his father's business affairs are also included. This little-publicised side of the Bard's life-Shakespeare the citizen-emerges from the painstaking diligence of researchers who have worked through a vast amount of obscure and inaccessible material. Exciting chance discoveries have been and are still being made, and this fascinating and highly readable book tells the story so far."
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