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Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: March 19, 2004 01:46PM

Now that we've looked at poets' graves, we can look at their wills. Great Britain's National Archives has digitized their collection of wills. Most have a charge for downloading, but some, like Bill's, are free.

[www.pro.gov.uk]

pam


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Talia (---.dialsprint.net)
Date: March 19, 2004 02:53PM

It looks cool, but I can't read it. Am I missing that part?


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: March 19, 2004 04:05PM

Do you have Adobe Acrobat Reader?

pam


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Talia (---.dialsprint.net)
Date: March 19, 2004 04:55PM

Yes. It came up but it's a photograph of the original. Can you read that? I was looking for actual digital typing. Is that not what you get?


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: March 19, 2004 05:39PM

It's perfectly clear on my screen. It says:

"En bft vamt of god dmtu [artist formerly known as Prince] William Clark Fooart of Stratford upon Avon of her maw of raw gent in zogert [or possibly yogurt] palf C mennonite ... "

That's probably enough -- you can see where's it's heading.

There is ANOTHER transcription of Shakespeare's will, and if you want to read that one (complete with modernized spelling and translation provided for the parts that are in Latin), go here:

[shakespeare.about.com]


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: March 19, 2004 06:22PM

And here it is all on one page, with original spelling:

[www.bardweb.net] />

Much hath been made of the line: "I gyve unto my wief my second best bed." The explanation that makes the most sense to me is that it was simply assumed that a man's grown children would care for their aging mother. She wouldn't inherit the estate unless he was trying to keep his children OUT of it. So his leaving her that particular bed probably meant only that she happened to LIKE that particular bed.


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-05rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: March 19, 2004 07:27PM

Someone once tried to make the case that the 2nd best bed was for guests, therefore in reality the best bed, but I wasn't convinced. I don't see mentioned what he intended to do with the first or third best beds, more's the pity.


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: March 22, 2004 01:14PM

There's a short story by Connie Willis in which Shakespeare has hidden the secret of who he really is in that second-best bed!

pam


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-05rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: March 22, 2004 03:09PM

That's it! Second best bed anagrams to 'Bob descendest', meaning Robert is lowered into the grave. Christopher Marlowe's middle name, it is well known, was Robert, so the mystery is solved for all eternity.


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: russ (---.olypen.com)
Date: March 22, 2004 09:52PM

So having persued this to indecent length I don't think I want to lay in Robert's bed!


Re: Shakespeare's Will
Posted by: Tandy (---.sui213.atln.attga31ur.dsl.att.net)
Date: March 31, 2004 05:44PM

According to my college Shakespeare professor, the best bed was reserved for guests. Therefore, the second-best bed would have been the one William & Anne slept in. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust puts forth this theory on their website.

See [www.shakespeare.org.uk].




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