Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Identity of Shakespeare's 'Dark Lady'

I'm very happy to say that I posted today on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog. It's normally about once a month that I post there, and today I wrote on the tricky subject of William Shakespeare and the identity of his 'Dark Lady' of the sonnets.

Was William Shakespeare in love with another woman behind his wife's back?

It's a problematic topic, of course, because no one knows for sure who his 'Dark Lady' was. There are a range of possible candidates, as I discuss in my blog post. But some academics consider her to be a literary device rather than a real person.

That seems unlikely to me, as I've commented in my blog post, not least because of the number of sonnets written about the Dark Lady and the emotional range displayed in the writing. Such an obsession with one poetic subject doesn't strike me as a 'literary device', though some people - including the influential biographer Peter Ackroyd - seem to consider the sonnets to be an extension of Shakespeare's skills as a playwright, and therefore essentially fiction.

 I hope you can find a few moments to pop over to the EHFA blog and read my post, as well as some of the others posted there daily. You never know what topics may crop up, it's always a fascinating resource for lovers of history and historical fiction.

I shall be returning to this subject later in the year, and posting on it at greater length, for those interested in Shakespeare.

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Many thanks for visiting my website and commenting! Victoria.