I’ve had Joseph Pearce’s new Shakespeare book on my wishlist since before its release—boy was I excited when I heard it was coming out!—but as I rarely buy new books, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Reader Elizabeth M. passes on a link to an interview that re-whets my appetite and makes me want to push it to the top of the list. I’ve received a nice Amazon gift certificate for my birthday this week (Thanks, Mum B.!!!!!) and can go on a nice little spending spree. (Though it’s always so hard to pick which books to buy now.)
Actually, I began as a skeptic who believed that there was insufficient evidence to show that Shakespeare was a Catholic. I felt that those who claimed that he was a believing Catholic were guilty of mere wishful thinking.
There came a point, however, at which one piece of evidence after another made me reconsider my skeptical stance. It�s like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
There comes a time when you have enough pieces to recognize the whole picture, even though some of the pieces are still missing. At this point, I became sufficiently intrigued by the whole question to embark on a period of intense research on the subject. My book is the fruit of that research.
Like Pearce, the first few times I heard the theory advance that Shakespeare was a Catholic, I dismissed it as yet another example of a special interest group trying to claim as one of their own the greatest writer in the English language. I don’t really like that kind of historical appropriation, even when it’s my own special interest group doing the appropriating. But the more I read the case for Shakespeare’s Catholicism, the more persuasive I find it. I look forward to seeing what Pearce has to add to the conversation.
More info on Pearce and the book at Ignatius Insight.