“It’s a tragedy of history.”, He favored Sidney. But Emilia Bassano Lanier may have had another advocate. In 1593, he referred cryptically to an “excellent Gentlewoman” who had written three sonnets and a comedy. A latitudinarian doubter—embracing the inquiry, not any single candidate—Rylance has lately observed that the once heretical notion of collaboration between Shakespeare and other writers “is now accepted, pursued and published by leading orthodox scholars.” He told me that “Emilia should be studied by anyone interested in the creation of the plays.” David Scott Kastan, a well-known Shakespeare scholar at Yale, urged further exploration too, though he wasn’t ready to anoint her bard. Would women at last claim their rightful authority as historical and intellectual forces? The theater’s summer 2018 season concluded with a new play, Emilia, about a contemporary of Shakespeare’s named Emilia Bassano. The profile is remarkably coherent, adding up to a mercenary impresario of the Renaissance entertainment industry. Let them inspire and unite us. Bassano’s life sheds possible light, too, on another outsider theme: the plays’ preoccupation with women caught in forced or loveless marriages. From January 1863: Nathaniel Hawthorne considers authorship while visiting Stratford-upon-Avon. The ranks of Shakespeare skeptics comprise a kind of literary underworld—a cross-disciplinary array of academics, actors (Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance are perhaps the best known), writers, teachers, lawyers, a few Supreme Court justices (Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens). I pulled up Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy on my iPhone. Shakespeare’s Secret Messiah (2nd Interview). Pulled back into plays I’d studied in college and graduate school, I found myself mesmerized by Lady Macbeth and her sisters in the Shakespeare canon. “I always feel something Italian, something Jewish about Shakespeare,” Jorge Luis Borges told The Paris Review in 1966. Strangest of all, he made no mention of manuscripts or writing. Listen to them. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises.” Bassano received a remarkable humanist education with the countess. In Emilia, the playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm goes a step further: Her Shakespeare is a plagiarist who uses Bassano’s words for Emilia’s famous defense of women in Othello. Arguing that the crucifixion, a crime committed by men, was a greater crime than Eve’s, she challenges the basis of men’s “tyranny” over women. Le Dauphiné Libéré a rencontré un chef indien d'Amazonie, passé par l'ONU à Genève et qui veut nous convaincre d'habiter le monde sans le violenter. These are specific links between Amelia’s family and the company which performed most of Shakespeare’s plays. They show that he dodged taxes, was fined for hoarding grain during a shortage, pursued petty lawsuits, and was subject to a restraining order. Emilia Lanier (also spelt Aemilia or Amelia Lanyer, 1569–1645), née Aemilia Bassano, was the first Englishwoman to assert herself as a professional poet, through a single volume of poems, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (Hail, God, King of the Jews, 1611). And when the plays lean on historical sources (Plutarch, for instance), they feminize them, portraying legendary male figures through the eyes of mothers, wives, and lovers. Elle est la première anglaise à s'affirmer comme une poétesse professionnelle par le biais de son seul et unique recueil de poèmes, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611). He remembered three actor-owners in his company, but no one in the literary profession. Listen to them. Il s'appelait Franz Jägerstätter, il était Autrichien et profondément catholique et avait ressenti comme une trahison le ralliement politique de son église à Hitler après l'annexion du pays. Bassano was later employed in a noble household, probably as a music tutor, and roughly a decade after that opened a school. Sonnets 127-154 concern not so much a lady who is dark but a ‘mistress’ who is ‘black’. Pour refaire le monde, il faut entamer une révolution du détail, acuité de Bernard Latour dans "Le magazine des Echos". Shakespeare’s Globe, London The supposed dark lady of the sonnets is transformed into a convincing symbol of exploited women through the ages W hat do we know of Emilia Bassano… And Emilia seemed to have been something Could the plays’ many connections to Bassano be explained by simply assuming the playwright knew her well? The life of Emilia Bassano Lanier is interwoven with Shakespeare’s in a boisterous British comedy. Emilia Bassano Lanyer's Jewish family tree and history can be traced back to the 1300s and Sephardic scholars in Morocco. Eight disguise themselves as men, outwitting patriarchal controls—more gender-swapping than can be found in the work of any previous English playwright. Five years younger than Shakespeare, she outlived him by three decades. (Perhaps, theories go, he chatted with travelers or consulted books.) Could she have been the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets? Amelia Bassano Lanier (1569–1645), a hard working author who wasn’t immediately extinguished by her complex female life, is a useful corrective to Virginia Woolf's mythical "Judith Shakespeare." Long before Tina Packer marveled at the bard’s uncanny insight, others were no less awed by the empathy that pervades the work. “Why was Shakespeare able to see the woman’s position, write entirely as if he were a woman, in a way that none of the other playwrights of the age were able to?” In her book about the plays’ female characters, Tina Packer, the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, asked the question very much on my mind. We were in line to see an adaptation of Macbeth and had decided to pass the time refreshing our memories of the play’s best lines. Quand on la lit de plus près, se dessinent dans nos journaux des individus, forts de leur vertu. Anti-Stratfordians see something else: In Aesop’s fables, the crow was a proud strutter who stole the feathers of others; Horace’s crow, in his epistles, was a plagiarist. Others were eager to learn about Bassano, and with collaboration in mind, I wondered whether the two women had perhaps worked together, or as part of a group. Until recently, that is, when a few bold outliers began to advance the case that Shakespeare might well have been a woman. “Weak and unconvincing” was Trevor-Roper’s verdict on the case for Shakespeare. Le Monde reprend le dossier et les tourments anglais. Kit Marlowe. Each of the male possibilities requires an elaborate theory to explain his use of another’s name. As a portrait of a husband dealing “hardly” with a wife, the play is horrifying. Could she have been the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets? Perhaps that’s because, until recently, no one was looking in the right place. Subscribe to The Atlantic and support 160 years of independent journalism, The prevailing view, however, has been that no women in Renaissance England wrote for the theater, because that was against the rules. And near the start of his over-the-top tribute, Jonson riffs on the unreliability of extravagant praise, “which doth ne’er advance / The truth.”, From September 1904: Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrates Shakespeare, The authorship puzzles don’t end there. The author’s linguistic brilliance shines in words and sayings imported from foreign vocabularies, but Shakespeare wasn’t educated past the age of 13. The time had come, I felt, to tug at the blinkers of both camps and reconsider the authorship debate: Had anyone ever proposed that the creator of those extraordinary women might be a woman? Aemilia Lanyer was the first woman writing in English to produce a substantial volume of poetry designed to be printed and to attract patronage. This recurrence has helped support the theory that the early modern poet Emilia Bassano, later Lanier, might well have been Shakespeare’s muse – the Dark Lady of the Sonnets. 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