It seems Shakespeare did more than just shake it!

I’m amused to read that the Bard of Avon may have been a philanderer as well.  The Telegraph reports:

A diary entry showing a rare and bawdy glimpse into Shakespeare’s character as a womaniser will be on display to the public for the first time ever in a major British Library exhibition next year.

The anecdote, discovered by scholars inside the journal of law student John Manningham, recounts an amusing story about Shakespeare, his actor friend Richard Burbage and a tryst with a female fan.

In 1602, Burbage was at the height of his fame playing Richard III at the Globe theatre.

After one performance, a female admirer gave Burbage her name and address and invited him to pay her a late-night visit, using the code name ‘Richard III’.

In true Shakespearean comedy style, William overheard this encounter and that evening, when Burbage arrived to call on the woman, the playwright was already on the premises.

Shakespeare later sent a witty message to his friend and rival, which stated: “William the Conqueror was before Richard the Third.”

There’s more at the link.

Clearly, when Shakespeare wrote about lust, he was speaking from experience!



  1. Good writers always use either parts of themselves or composites of others they've known or run into as a basis for their fictional characters.

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