Life in the Time of Shakespeare
By D.K Marley
|Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Wife of William Shakespeare).|
Anything Shakespearean or Tudor-era is my happy place, my happy time period, where I can cozy up in a good book with those who lived and died during a revolutionary time in English history. After all, from the time of Henry VIII, the imposing Monarch whose religious metamorphosis imposed upon England with his bed-hopping, wife-beheading, and heir-begetting swath through history, leading to his strong willed reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I, the amount of information about the lives of those affected by these luminaries is astounding. Within the circumference of these figures, you have Shakespeare, Marlowe, Raleigh, Jonson, Kyd, Oxford, Sidney... and on and on. Can you even imagine? These writers were ground-breakers for their time – delving into new types of verse, pushing the boundaries within the verge of the Queen, and using the stages and pages published to promote a new era of thinking into science, religion and politics. These influences had their effect even to the remotest villages, for Warwickshire (Shakespeare's home county) folk felt the effects of the changes and Shakespeare used the things he saw and heard to fill the pages of his works. Imagine the conversations they must have had around their dinner table as they supped on meat pies in the candlelight! Not unlike us today.
Those in the countryside of Stratford-upon-Avon dealt with scrounging for food and work at times, plying their trades as common laborers, and seeking to find a way to send their boys to school. Shakespeare himself was schooled at the King's New School, but by the time he reached thirteen, it is plausible he went to work instead of staying in school.
We, as modern readers of Tudor historical romances, like to imagine the lives of those living during that time period as a beautiful romantic setting within the walls of an elegant castle, but the reality is far from books we read today. Cold, unsanitary, dank, and rat-ridden which caused the dangerous diseases such as the sweating sickness and the Plague festered in the streets of London like a fog. If you lived during that time, better to be of noble birth (which is not saying much) than of low-birth, especially as a woman with no means. Yet, even with all this being said, and with our modern conveniences today, so many feign to delve into the works of Shakespeare because they do not see the relevance between the Elizabethan world and our world today. So not true! Each of the plays is a mirror into our world, a perusal from the Bard's POV into modern life via his own life. When historians say he “invented the human”, he did indeed, for he saw into life, from the pauper to the Prince, in a way that each one of us would do well to take to heart. History repeats itself, as is often the case, so when we read the greedy words of Iago or the immature declarations of love between teenagers or the inspiring words of a King, we are hearing our own lives. What was life like in the days of Shakespeare? Forsooth,
|King's New School.|
I say, and leave with this quote from As You Like It:
'And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe. And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot; And thereby hangs a tale.'
The life from ostler to the King in Shakespeare's time is our own, from cab driver to Queen today.
Blood and Ink
History shows Kit Marlowe died in a tavern brawl in Deptford in 1593, but did he? England is torn by religious metamorphosis and espionage. The stages of England and bright intellectual boys are used to bolster Queen Elizabeth I's reign and propagate the rising Protestant faith. At the age of eight, Christopher Marlowe, the muse's darling, is sucked into the labyrinth of secret spy rings, blood, murder, and betrayal, while his own ambition as England's favorite playwright drifts further from his grasp. As Christopher grows to manhood, he sinks further into the darkness, and a chance meeting with an unknown actor from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare, sets him on a path of destiny; a fate of forced exile and the revelation that the real enemy was not the assassins of Rome, but a man who stared into his eyes and smiled. One he did not expect...
DK Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English professor, gave her a volume of Shakespeare's plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel "Blood and Ink," an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio.
She is a true Stratfordian (despite the topic of her novel "Blood and Ink"), a Marlowe fan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. Her new series titled "The Fractured Shakespeare Series" will tackle adapting each play into a historical fiction novel. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops and is a graduate of the intense training workshop "The Writer's Retreat Workshop" founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes and Lorin Oberweger. She is also a blogger for her blog "The Jabberwocky Blog" on Wordpress. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.
Connect with D.K. Marley: Author Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram: @theRealDKMarley • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads • Jol's Book Club.