The Merchant of Stratford?!

News this week from Aberystwyth University in Wales suggests that Shakespeare was a conniving grain hoarder whose cutthroat ways caused prices to soar in a time of famine.

Just when you thought there was nothing else to say about the sketchy biography of the man from Stratford.

In spite of the curiously interesting twist on Shakespeare-as-capitalist, what’s truly remarkable about this article to me is the tone of the scholars.  In one sentence they articulate a broadsided character judgment and in the next breath criticize those who have done the same by deifying him.  By the end you get to the perfectly reasonable hypothesis that if you were leaving with means somewhere where there was a shortage of food, you might consider it a good idea to store it, maybe even to trade it, but primarily to, yes, hoard it so there’s always food for family and neighbors.

Sounds like he found a good side business to me.  We must remind ourselves that there has never been revealed any plausible path to knowing who Shakespeare really was.  I think  all it’s safe to say is that whoever he was, he was wicked smaht, as some say where I’m from.  And this prospector’s analysis here only confirms the basic premise.

But WSShakespeare the grain hoarder?

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