Was the Bard’s first stage a classroom?

Was Shakespeare writing from personal experience as a teacher when he described a whining boy ‘…creeping like a snail unwillingly to school’?!

A historian is claiming that William Shakespeare may have spent several years working as a schoolmaster in a Hampshire village, the BBC reports.

There has always been a mystery about where Shakespeare spent the years between 1589 and 1592, when he was recorded as being in London. Now Ken Groves, a local historian, says that a house near Titchfield Abbey, known as Place House Cottage, was a schoolhouse at the time. The house was owned by the aristocratic Wriothesley family – and at the time Shakespeare was being sponsored by Henry Wriothesley, the third Earl of Southampton.

According to Ken all that, combined with a claim from John Aubrey, the 17th century writer, that Shakespeare worked as a schoolmaster, proves it: “All we are doing is putting the pieces of a jigsaw together,” Ken said, “We have a school that was there at the right time, which had a connection with one of the earls who we know Shakespeare had a connection with. And we have the written evidence in Brief Lives that Shakespeare was a teacher.”

But Professor Michael Dobson, director of the Shakespeare Institute, thinks it’s unlikely that Shakespeare spent much time in Hampshire: “When Shakespeare pops up in London in 1592, he’s already an up and coming playwright,” he said.

Could the Bard have been a teacher – and would his pupils have benefited if he was?!

One thought on “Was the Bard’s first stage a classroom?

  1. I’m afraid ‘historian’ Ken Groves has stolen everything he says from my 2002 book, ‘Love’s Labour’s Found’ and my subsequent blog, ‘The Shakespeare Code’. Please see http://theshakespearecode.wordpress.com Mr. Groves had my book, in manuscript form, in his position for many months. Stewart Trotter

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