Lipgart A.A. On Interpreting Some Facts of William Shakespeare’s Life and Works: “The Phoenix and the Turtle” and the Purchase of Real Estate in London
In the Shakespeare studies there exist some widely popular preconceptions, which for all their untenability are extremely reluctant to die out. Among these shibboleths one finds the pronouncement that as no irrefutable evidence concerning Shakespeare’s religious affiliations has ever been introduced, it is methodologically wrong to enter upon any description of his life and works from this viewpoint. The present article offers a discussion of the two incontrovertible facts of Shakespeare’s biography (his writing “The Phoenix and the Turtle” in or about 1601 and his buying the Gatehouse in Blackfriars in 1613) in their interconnection, in their relation to the activities of the Catholic recusants during Shakespeare’s lifetime, and in their objective significance for Shakespearology. The missing links here are the Jesuit Father John Gerard, the Catholic martyr St Anne Line and the two recusant families – the Fostescues and the Robinsons.
Willliam Shakespeare, “The Phoenix and the Turtle”, the Gatehouse in Blackfriars, John Gerard, Anne Line, interpretation of texts of imaginative writing, “Hamlet”