So be thankful for that! Guess what else? There is a Jesuit angle that may unlock the mystery of genius’s religious background.
Writing for the Washington Post, Terence McCoy shares what was found when a First Folio of the Bard’s work was discovered in a French library. Long ago, the metadata it had been catalogued under was in error as to its age, see?
“It was very emotional to realize we had a copy of one of the most famous books in the world,” Cordonnier told the Times. “I was already imagining the reaction it would cause.”
Each First Folio is different. Each tells historians, who can discern much in textual variants, something new about Shakespeare. This one may inform more than most — and rekindled controversial questions regarding the greatest writer the English language has known: Was Shakespeare, thought to be Protestant, secretly Catholic?
“What is really interesting,” Rasmussen told Agence France-Presse, “is that it clearly came from the college of Jesuits in Saint-Omer, founded in the late 16th century during Queen Elizabeth’s reign when it was illegal for Catholics to go to college.”
The folio was also inscribed on the first surviving page, Rasmussen told the Times, with the name “Neville,” an alias for a prominent English Catholic who attended the Jesuit college.
“People have been making some vague arguments” about Shakespeare being Catholic, he told the Times, “but now for the first time we have a connection between the Jesuit college network and Shakespeare. … The links become a little more substantial when you have this paper trail.”
Joseph Pearce has written on the possibility of Shakespeare’s Catholicism at length in Quest For Shakespeare.
For good measure, I’ll share a clip from my favorite version of one of my favorite speeches penned by the master. Roll it!
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
Pascal-Emmanual Gobry writes, Of Course Shakespeare Was Catholic.