A Chapter in the Early Life of Shakespeare: Polesworth in by Arthur Gray

By Arthur Gray

During this captivating and thought-provoking 1926 quantity, Arthur grey, grasp of Jesus university, Cambridge from 1912 to 1940, explored the chance that William Shakespeare spent his youth at Polesworth corridor within the wooded area of Arden, probably serving as a web page boy. The wooded area of Arden as soon as stretched from simply north of Stratford-upon-Avon to Tamworth, and lined what's now Birmingham; Polesworth, close to Tamworth, was once the house of Sir Henry Goodere and the centre of the famed 'Polesworth Circle'. This ultimate concentration of inventive and cultural task could have provided the younger William publicity to the best minds, a superb schooling and useful introductions. Sir Henry, who obviously knew John Shakespeare in Stratford, was once definitely purchaser of many younger writers and musicians, together with the eminent Elizabethan poet, Michael Drayton. If grey is true, Drayton may were a modern of Shakespeare's at Polesworth.

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Unfortunately he, like more recent writers of' Lives,' in the deficiency of these sources added inferences which are of questionable value. ' 'He had bred him, 'tis true, for some time at a free school'— 19 2-2 The Stratford Legend Rowe does not say that it was Stratford school— 'where 'tis probable that he acquired that little Latin he was master of: but the narrowness of his circumstances and the want of his assistance at home forc'd his father to withdraw him from thence, and unhappily prevented his further proficiency in that language.

From Chaucer he derived the seven-line stanza of Lucrece, and the six-line 39 Stratford Fact and Fable stanza of Venus was perhaps suggested by Spenser's Astrophel (1586). Where and when did he get the chance of handling English books? Certainly not at Stratford. Perhaps in London in those uncertain years which he spent there before the publication of Venus. To allow plenty of time for making acquaintance with them the Traditional date assigned to his Hegira is about 1585, the year in which his twins were born.

At least that is the probability which I hope to set up. § 10 SHAKESPEARE'S SILENCE ABOUT STRATFORD We may take it as unquestionable fact that William was born at Stratford in 1564, and had children born to him there in 1583 and 1585. Between 1564 and the date of his acquisition of New Place in 1597 42 Shakespeare's Silence about Stratford there is no recorded fact which establishes his continuous abode there. It is of course likely enough that some part of the years between 1571 and 1577 is to be filled up with attendance at the Free School.

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