Saturday, 26 April 2014
Not his 450th birthday, surely?
Of course not.
It's been a busy week. And I've found myself biting my tongue quite a lot, as the media celebrates the Other Shakespeare - the Shakespeare who is really very little more than a Trademark.
It started for me with a fantastic afternoon at the Tree House Bookshop in Kenilworth, where I gave a talk about Who Killed William Shakespeare? and signed some books for the start of their Shakespeare Festival. If you happen to be in the Kenilworth area, I can highly recommend a visit to the Tree House Bookshop - it's a lovely, relaxing place to browse second hand books, to lounge in their sofas, drinking tea or coffee.
Wednesday was, of course, Shakespeare's birthday. And the "We Love Coventry and Warwickshire" website was kind enough to host a wee post of mine, entitled Two Years to Find Shakespeare. Pretty self-explanatory, I'd hope.
I then had a piece published by my beloved Review Group on their wonderful blog, this one entitled - what else? - Happy Birthday, Shakespeare.
And now I'm looking forward to the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, and my talk/book signing there this coming Tuesday on Who Killed Shakespeare? Advance bookings appear to be pretty good, but if you are in or near Shakespeare's hometown on the afternoon of 29 April, come along - there's tea and cake!
So, you can't really accuse me of not celebrating Shakespeare's birthday. But, as I hope my various talks and blogs have made it clear, we might not really be celebrating Shakespeare. Not yet. We're pretending we are, but we're still allowing the experts to keep us in the dark about him.
But that will change soon. And I'll have a lot more to tell you about "Shakespeare's Son", Sir William Davenant, as my work on his biography progresses.