Sonnet Book

We have a run of 750 sonnetbooks. Each book signed by William S




…the big book from 1623 that started it all. Generations of school-kids could have been spared pain and misery, if only this book had not been published. No Shakespeare, or considerably less than we have. Some plays that were published in Quarto form may have survived on their merit.

Stratford on Avon would been known as a beer brewing town and all the good citizens would have had no need to measure up to Shakespeare’s standards. Pished and loving it: no blue-haired sweetie wrapper oldies and no snot-nosed big mouthed pupils as tourists, in town for a tour and a play. Nor no wacked-out hare and big brained conspiracy theorists sneaking around town at night with shovels.

It might have been Ben Johnson on the national curriculum instead. Ben was a brickie by trade and knew his Latin, and his Greek. Nobody has ever questioned his sexuality. His reputation precedes him and they wouldn’t dare. He killed a man once, who more than likely insulted his core being. Got sent to prison for that and it was his ability to quote Latin, which saved him from being hanged.

One tradition says that Shakes helped Ben get his first play onstage. It fits, timing wise in Elizabethan Playwriting, the switch from romantic comedies and histories to satire, which hit the scene from 1597, leading inevitably from the contempt, scorn, and insolence of Satire, to oh so fateful for Shakespeare: Tragedy.

There could have been just a Hamlet cult instead of old shagsberds. That dizzy old-young prince dithering from ghosts to players, to conspirators, to sweet dreams. There is a cult of Hamlet anyway. A lot of conspiracy theories fit their candidate to actually be the model for Hamlet, thus proving they wrote Shakespeare.

Get that one past Ben Jonson! If Ben the brickie was a judas, it out-herods Herod! I’ll have none of it. Fist breaks nose, claret pours, and the party continues in the mind of the Shakespeare-loving hooligan. Boots crunching on mis-kicked gravel, then, a hit, a hit, a palpable hit. The terraces chanting once more unto the breach in unison with spontaneous cries of, On on you brave English, and yells for Harry, St George and for Engerlaaand!

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