This book will come as a revelation to Shakespeare scholars everywhere. It reveals the identity of the playwright and Shakespeare’s colleague behind the mask of Jaques in As You Like It. It pinpoints the true first night of Twelfth Night and reveals why the play’s performance at the Inns of Court was a momentous occasion for shakespeare. It also the identities Quinapalus, the Vapians, Pigrogromitus and Feste, as well as the ‘Dark Lady’ of the Sonnets and the inspiration for Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. And it solves Shakespeare’s greatest riddle: the meaning of M.O.A.I. in Twelfth Night. In sum, this book reveals William Shakespeare as a far more personal writer than we have ever imagined.

Elizabethan writers frequently complained about what we call ‘close reading’, i.e., that their readers imputed seditious and/or scandalous intentions to the author. We take a close look at this practice, and how it should influence our reading of Shakespeare today.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This chapter explains that Christopher Marlowe was the inspiration for Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It – and that Shakespeare wrote the play to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Marlowe’s death. We take a close look at how Shakespeare felt about his rival, mentor and friend.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This chapter endorses the identification of Emilia Bassano Lanier as the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets … and the inspiration of Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This chapter pinpoints 27 December 1601 as the date of the first performance of Twelfth Night – and demonstrates that Shakespeare wrote his play for two audiences, one at Elizabeth’s Court, the other at the Inns of Court.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This chapter reveals the identities of Quinapalus, the Vapians, Pigrogromitus, and the court jester behind Feste’s name. It’s Shakespeare at his word-playing best.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This chapter explains how Shakespeare marshalled St. Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians as the subtext for Twelfth Night.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

Gabriel Harvey has long been recognized as the inspiration for Malvolio in Twelfth Night. This chapter explains how Shakespeare turned his late friend Thom Nashe into Feste, and continued Nashe’s torment of Harvey from beyond the grave.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

Shakespeare’s M.O.A.I. riddle in Twelfth Night has been his most intractable crux. This chapter provides the solution, and explains how a mis-translation concealed the truth from scholars for 400 years.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This chapter explains why Twelfth Night must begin with 1.2 rather than 1.1, and cites eighteenth- to nineteenth-century productions as conclusive evidence.

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind