Shakespeare’s London church found

From “The Independent”

Shakespeare’s “lost” local church in London may have been found – beneath some flower beds and cracked paving stones. New research has pinpointed the site of the old church of St Leonard, which was the centre of worship and burial for many of the leading actors and personalities of the Shakespearean stage, including the Bard himself. A study of archive material has revealed that much of the building may still exist, buried underground in an extraordinary time capsule.

… The church was also local for the playwright-spy Christopher Marlowe, and later Ben Jonson, the Bard’s friend and rival. Edmund Shakespeare, the playwright’s infant nephew who died when only a few days old, was baptised at the church.

… Among those buried at St Leonard’s were many of Shakespeare’s friends and associates, including Richard Burbage, who first played the roles of Hamlet, Othello and King Lear.

Full article

[I thought I had posted this over a week ago, but I just noticed it sitting in my post list as a ‘draft’!]

Searching for Shakespeare

The National Portrait Gallery in London is marking its 150th anniversary and will be celebrating with a special exhibit on Shakespeare and the “Chandos” portrait, which was the first in the gallery’s collection. More information and a review of the exhibit from The Observer

There has been a slew of news articles out lately about the portraits of Shakespeare and this exhibit, so I’ve just selected a few to point to here:

Britain’s National Portrait Gallery unveils ‘true’ image of Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Likeliest Likeness, Forsooth

To be or not to be the Bard’s portrait?

The only true painting of Shakespeare – probably

(some original links have expired and have been removed)

Shakespeare and Welsh literary police

I recieved this about a week ago. I’m not really into the Shakespeare authorship debate, but I know from emails that some of my readers are!

Shakespeare and Welsh literary police

Further ‘Shakespeare portrait is a fake’, ( Catriona Davies 28/10/2005) et al., octogenarian Welsh vicar, author and broadcaster, the Rev Aelwyn Roberts of Llandegai, North Wales, has told me there is nothing new about mysteries surrounding Shakespeare. He says that in his whodunnit ‘Operation Woolsack’ (later on ITV as the “Swan of Ogwen” in the early 90s) he used police investigation techniques, not academic textual criticism, to establish who the genuine bard might have been — perhaps even the Welshman, Archbishop John of York, buried at Llandegai church. He tells me that King James I was John’s patron (and perhaps more), and gave him many royal gifts and honours for his ‘services to English literature’ while he was secluded for nine years in Walgrave, Northamptonshire. He says the first ‘Shakespeare’ folio was published precisely when (1623) John left Walgrave for Westminster. But where are John’s writings? There was a mysterious fire, 40 years after John’s death, at Westminster Abbey library, opposite Parliament. Only John’s books and two bundles of handwritten English poems were destroyed — a mediaeval, spin coverup? Aelwyn says he still has a few early proof copies (signed in green by himself) of ‘Operation Woolsack’ and you can email him for one at — £6.50 inc p&p.

Dr P.D. O’Neill (email withheld).

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Shakespeare Portrait found to be a fake

The Flower Portrait of William Shakespeare (owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company) has been found to have been painted in the early 19th century and not the “1609” date inscribed on it. Through paint analysis, microphotography, ultraviolet imaging and x-rays, the portrait has been determined to have come from between 1814 and 1840.

(original links have expired and have been removed)

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