Philobiblon: A few more Shakespeare snippets

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A few more Shakespeare snippets

Also in the exhibition that opens today at the National Portrait Gallery:

* A letter from Edward Alleyn to his wife of one year, Joan, from 1593:
It starts: "to my good sweet mouse" and includes suggestions of precautions to take against the plague, a request to sow spinach in the garden, and to dye his orange stockings black for winter.

* A list of the apparel belonging to the Lord Admiral's Men (compiled also by Edward) in 1602 - very long and complicated.

* The first royal patent for the Kings' Men, dated 19 May 1603, that states the company exists not only for the pleasure of the king, but also for "the recreation of our lovinge subjectes".

*A portrait of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, is playfully included, with the note that in the 1920s he was championed as the real author of Shakespeare's plays.

* One woman gets a look in - with a miniature that is (probably) of Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, by Nicholas Hilliard.

* The diary of Simon Forman - open at the page recording his account of seeing The Winter's Tale.

* A script in progress for The Booke of Sir Thomas Moore (sic). About 140 lines are reported to be attributed to Shakespeare, but there are six different hands identified in the text.


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