Looking for a midsummer’s read? A break from the ordinary? A book that you won’t find on HuffPo’s “Beach Reads” list nor the NY Times’s “Cool Books for Hot Summer Days?”
To me, summer is the best time to escape the everyday – to abandon inhibitions and expand horizons.
With that in mind, may I suggest a topic that exercises your cerebrum as you relax by the beach, pool, or in a shady mountain retreat.
Perhaps a controversial subject that will make you, heaven forbid, question what you’ve been taught about Shakespeare. OK, you know where I’m going with this, right?
Make this the summer you explore the Shakespeare Authorship Question!
Four summers ago, instead of catching up on the Stephen King novels I’d missed during the school year, I read a book that set my intellect on fire: Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom by Charles Beauclerk.
If the plays and poems of Shakespeare were written today…we would see them for what they are — shocking political works written by a court insider, someone shielded by the monarch in an unstable time of armada and reformation. (Beauclerk)
This was the first SAQ book I’d ever read, recommended to me by my former English professor, dear friend, and mentor, Sallie DelVecchio.
From there I read what is, in my opinion, the Oxfordian primer: Mark Anderson’s Shakespeare by Another Name.
“This book, with fascinating specificity, suits ‘the action to the word, the word to the action.'” (Sir Derek Jacobi on SBAN)
But if you are new to the Oxfordian Theory and want something to whet your appetite for learning more about the movers and shakers of Queen Liz’s court, I strongly advise you start out with something entertaining.
A historical fiction novel that will introduce you to the theory that challenges Shakespeare Orthodoxy: Shakespeare’s Changeling: A Fault Against the Dead by Syril Levin Kline.
Kline’s novel engages your mind in a tantalizing way. It introduces you to some key players in the Shakespeare backdrop without bogging you down with historical information overload. Shakespeare’s Changeling: A Fault Against the Dead offers a storyline more fact-based than that of the country merchant turned London playwright.
In my upcoming posts, I will chat with Ms. Kline about her book, literary inspirations, and why she feels the SAQ should be taught in mainstream academia.
‘Til then, savor these “dog days” because summer’s lease hath all too short a date!