Hey, guys! Welcome to Shakespeare Saturday. A’s new show opened today and she’s a tad knackered, so I’m stepping in to write today’s blog. I…actually have nothing in the tank today. It’s NaNo Prep time, meaning I’m neck deep in character bios, world building, and outlining chapters. Granted, I’m a NaNo Rebel and I’m actually using this year to finish Killing Mercutio (aka Super Secret Nerd Cactus Project 2015), but I still want to take advantage of all the preparatory stuff going around to work on a personal project of mine.
And no, it’s not that play I’m researching. I wish it were, but a play is not, in fact, a novel…so…there’s that. Also, every time I start researching for this play, I lose a day. Seriously, the last time I picked up a book on Shakespeare, it was 10pm when I started and 6am when I looked up again. I was at most 70 pages into the text, but there were so many note cards around me I could have used them as a blanket. You know…once I attached them, of course. Funnily enough, it’s a book on the development of SHAKESPEARE: THE EXPERIENCE! (Aka, how the actor-cum-playwright from Stratford became The Bard.) Basically, a book on what I wrote about last week for Shakespeare Saturday. And, guess what? I was…sort of…right! Turns out I’d forgotten about the shutdown of the theaters under the Puritans, which was a bit of a rookie Historian mistake, but I was pretty spot on about the rest. Shakespeare’s rise began again during the Restoration, though it wasn’t until 1710 that his plays (very edited versions) were performed more often than Jonson’s and Fletcher’s (that was the other guy whose name I forgot last week). And, of course, becoming The Bard really seemed to happen during the Romantic era.
I am pleased with myself. OK, so I was probably just saying things that everyone already knew (in which case, thanks for putting up with me), but I never really studied the history and development of Shakespeare. I took mostly American and Russian History, and the latter very much prefer their Pushkin. Seriously…Russia loves Pushkin! Obsession.
Anyway. I seem to have written more than I intended (again). So, I’m going to wrap this up and share with you some of the books I decided to purchase while I was in Stratford, but added to my Half.com list because I didn’t have the room for them in my suitcase. (That and…I needed to eat while I was there, so I had to save some of that money for food.)
The Age of Shakespeare– Frank Kermode
Shakespeare Basic for Grown-Ups– E. Foley and B. Coates
Shakespeare in Company– Bart van Es
Shakespeare Only– Jeffrey Knapp
Shakespeare’s English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama– Peter Saccio
Soul of the Age– Jonathan Bate
I am also adding one actual copy of a Shakespeare play, recommended to me by a good friend of mine. Apparently, it has a 147-page intro and also an appendix on Shakespeare, Jonson, and the theater wars of the English Renaissance. Amazing stuff! I am not buying this one for a while. I’m afraid I’d lose a week to it…
Arden Shakespeare As You Like It– 2006 version
Anyway, that’s it. Sorry you had to put up with me again! I’ll be back tomorrow to share that incredibly silly Austen thing I found!