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It is mainly used to explain why the young man left his native country for the uncertainty of city life.
Rene Weis thought that more research should be devoted to Shakespeare’s descendants in the hope that evidence of Shakespeare’s library might yet be discovered.
There are no personal essays and no diaries; we have to admit there is now any chance of further illumination of his inner life is irrevocably lost; and in Malone’s chronological listing there is nothing likewise to be learnt.
The temptation for biographers is to line up the life with the works.
Shapiro The highlight was the appearance of James Shapiro, whose talk was on the effect of Malone’s conversion of Shakespeare into an autobiographical writer.
Stanley Wells & Paul Edmondson Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson launched an attack on the William-Shakespeare-autobiographical thesis for the sonnets.
He would dispute Michael Wood’s assertion, that Prospero in The Tempest is an autobiographical portrait, and Greenblatt’s surmises about Shakespeare’s marriage.
Both Stratfordians and anti-Stratfordians are at fault when they seek to couple the life and the works and include in apparent topicalities.
Shapiro’s approach represented a shift (which he actually denied in reply to a question) from what he wrote in his recent book, 1599 A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, when he wrote: We know too little because we don’t know very much about what kind of friend or lover or person Shakespeare was . Now he has destroyed the personality nexus almost completely, diminishing what we (think we ) know about his career as a writer.
Comment It was certainly gratifying that there were none of the usual snide anti-anti Stratfordian comments or humour.
For example, one speaker contended that the eleven year old William Shakespeare might have been entranced by his un-evidenced sighting of the Queen at Kenilworth (some eleven miles from Stratford), and thus inspired — but I am left uninspired, and amazed that anything so remote from possibility may be thought to have some claim to scholastic recognition Two speakers spoke at length on how current biographies affect the writing of historical novels – nothing to do with the history and development of Shakespeare’s biography, but interesting nonetheless to illustrate the cross-over between fact and fiction in Shakespeare biographies.