Sunday, April 15, 2007

What did Shakespeare really look like?

I purchased a new book last week. Called History Play.
It's an alternative biography of the playright Christopher Marlowe. It develops a hypothesis that Marlow was not killed in 1593, but instead went into exile in Europe, and wrote all those plays that are currently attributed to Shakespeare.

I obviously have not read this book yet, but even the back cover says that much of this is conjecture. Appendix 2 shows how computer face-aging technology can age Marlow's face from age 21 through 28 and 36 to age 40. Interestingly enough, that last portrait looks very similar to the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare.

Anyway I went looking for other portraits of Shakespeare. I found a few rather interesting pages on the topic. Just a note about the Sanders portrait which was discovered in 2001. Apparently a number of scholars are saying that they do not believe it to be Shakespeare.

A New Shakespeare Portrait

Pictures of William Shakespeare

The Sanders Portrait

The Sanders Portrait 2

Also a 2005 news item that says the Flowers portrait of Shakespeare (which has an inscription of 1609 on it) has actually been dated to the early 1800s.

Chrome yellow paint, dating from around 1814, had been found embedded in the portrait.
"We now think the portrait dates back to around 1818 to 1840, exactly the time when there was a resurgence of interest in Shakespeare's plays,"

And lastly I came across some facts and trivia about life in Elizabethan times.
Please note that this is a PDF file.

Shakespeare Trivia

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