The Quest for
One of the greatest geniuses in literary history, much of William
Shakespeare's life is shrouded in mystery. Some scholars have taken
advantage of the little that is actually recorded concerning the Great
Bard's life to make outlandish claims about who he was and what he stood
for. In this compelling new series renowned biographer Joseph Pearce
separates fact from fiction as he pursues the real Shakespeare of
1: Will the Real Shakespeare Please Stand Up?
The first episode of a new series examining the evidence for
2: His Father’s Will
The discovery of a spiritual last will and testament, written by
Shakespeare’s father, proves that the Playwright was raised in a
staunchly Catholic home.
3: Faith of his Fathers
An examination of Shakespeare’s Catholic family.
4: Living with Outlaws
Life for the young Shakespeare, at home in Stratford-upon-Avon, was
fraught with danger and intrigue as his family faced the threat of
persecution for its Catholic faith.
5: A Rose by Any Other Name
Did Shakespeare work secretly as a schoolmaster in a Catholic stately
home? The evidence is examined.
6: Love’s Labours, Lost Years
The controversy surrounding Shakespeare’s marriage and the baptism of
his children, and the mystery surrounding his “lost years”.
7: Murdered Spy, Martyred Priest
Shakespeare’s relationship with Christopher Marlowe and St Robert
8: Playing Safe with the Queen
The complex nature of Shakespeare’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth.
9: Family, Friends and Enemies
The evidence for Shakespeare’s Catholicism to be discovered in his
relationship with his family and friends, as well as in his conflicts
with his opponents.
10: The King’s Good Servant
The complexities of Shakespeare’s relationship with King James I. How
could he remain the King’s good servant, but God’s first?
11: The Lessons of Lear
How Shakespeare’s Catholic sympathies can be discovered in his play,
12: Last Years
Shakespeare’s final years, after his retirement and his return home to
Stratford, and the Catholic circles in which he moved.
13: “He Died a Papist”
The evidence of Shakespeare’s will that suggests that he died, as he had
lived, as a believing Catholic.
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