Chichester lecture reveals the horrors of Shakespeare’s life in London

Duncan Salkeld
Duncan Salkeld
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NEW evidence about history’s most celebrated playwright and his life in London is to be revealed during an open lecture at a university.

Shakespeare scholar Professor Duncan Salkeld, of the University of Chichester, will present his latest research about the Bard unearthed from the original records of Elizabethan prisons.

The 90-minute seminar, on Wednesday, February 15, is part of a series of public lectures at the university highlighting the research of academics, scientists, and authors of the institution.

Prof Salkeld said: ‘Stratford made the man but London made the phenomenon even if, at the end of his writing career, Shakespeare felt himself an outsider in the great metropolis.’

The research, which is based on the 400-year-old records of the notorious Bridewell Palace city prison, focuses on the recently-excavated Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch.

He added: ‘There are some real horror stories from the prison records including knife fights, gang wars, and diseases – London in the sixteenth century was a grim place.

‘It is astonishing that Shakespeare not only survived the bubonic plague and other poxes but one of the most dangerous and deadly periods of the capital’s history.’

The event is at 5.30pm, in the university’s Mitre Lecture Theatre, on the Bishop Otter campus. Tickets are free but should be reserved in advance at alumni.chi.ac.uk