By Arthur Gray
During this fascinating and thought-provoking 1926 quantity, Arthur grey, grasp of Jesus collage, Cambridge from 1912 to 1940, explored the prospect that William Shakespeare spent his adolescence at Polesworth corridor within the woodland of Arden, might be serving as a web page boy. The woodland of Arden as soon as stretched from simply north of Stratford-upon-Avon to Tamworth, and coated 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 correct concentration of inventive and cultural task might have provided the younger William publicity to the best minds, an excellent schooling and necessary introductions. Sir Henry, who obviously knew John Shakespeare in Stratford, was once definitely customer of many younger writers and musicians, together with the eminent Elizabethan poet, Michael Drayton. If grey is true, Drayton might were a latest of Shakespeare's at Polesworth.
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Additional resources for A Chapter in the Early Life of Shakespeare: Polesworth in Arden
Stratfordians treat it as independent of Betterton's story. It is based on an identification of Sir Thomas Lucy with Justice Shallow, suggested by the opening lines of Merry Wives, a play which the parson had not read, and no Stratford parishioner is likely to have read. I make no question that Betterton was the source of the fiction. Betterton, who died in 1710 at the age of something like 75, visited Stratford at an uncertain date —probably in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. It is unfortunate that we know no more of his researches there than is told by Rowe in the 'Account of the Life ofShakespeare' which he printed with his edition of the Plays, issued in 1709.
It is our ill fortune that we look on Shakespeare over an empty gulf of three centuries. So the legend that began in uncritical fable has come to be a matter of faith, and it is taken for axiom that, temp. Elizabeth, dunghill curs might confront the Helicons, and of uninstructed instinct scale their heights. In his last years, when he lived in their midst, and for half a century after his death the Stratford folk showed no more interest in Shakespeare than in any other man who had made money and lived in a good house in their town.
Mr Walmsley was well pleased with this proof of Johnson's abilities as a dramatick writer, and advised him to finish the tragedy and produce it on the stage.. ' Supposing that Beeston was right about 'the schoolmaster in the country,' does not Boswell's account fit the case of Shakespeare singularly well? Boswell goes on to say that Johnson found little encouragement from the gentleman in London to whom he had been recommended. Shakespeare had surer prospects, for he took with him a letter of introduction to the Earl of Southampton.
A Chapter in the Early Life of Shakespeare: Polesworth in Arden by Arthur Gray