• There are a number of books relating to Shakespeare and Italy, but none like The Shakespeare Guide to Italy.

    • In his Guide, Richard Paul Roe discovers a “secret Italy hidden in the plays” and he verifies, thoroughly and persuasively, the places Shakespeare names and the information about Italy he imparts, calling into question the centuries-old view that the playwright never left England.

    • Roe demolishes the traditional charge that Shakespeare didn’t know his Italian geography, showing that the often-ridiculed boat trips from Verona to Milan by Valentine and Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona were not only possible but the most efficacious way for gentlemen to travel in the 1500s. With help from American, English, and Italian scholars, he investigates and maps a series of canals that don’t exist anymore but that once made it possible to go by boat from Legnago on Verona’s Adige River to Ostiglia on the Po, which connects to the Adda and a canal to Milan.

    • Here and in other instances, Roe in a very practical way is helping to rescue what Margreta De Grazia, in her landmark treatise Shakespeare Verbatim: The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus, calls “Shakespeare in his own terms, Shakespeare before the late 18th century intervention.” Roe here is intently seeking to recover Shakespeare from the authenticated text ordained by the academic hierarchy and analyzed by credulous students.

    • It was perhaps inevitable, though, even without Wright’s introducing it as such, that the book would be regarded as Oxfordian. Nevertheless, it deserves to be considered not only one of the best scholarly efforts of that persuasion, but also one of the most revealing books ever written about Shakespeare—not to mention its many points of interest for students and scholars traveling in Italy.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Advertisements