The Shakespeare Guide to Italy
Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels
By Richard Paul Roe
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062074263, 336pp.)
Publication Date: November 2011
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Richard Paul Roe spent more than twenty years traveling the length and breadth of Italy on a literary quest of unparalleled significance.
Using the text from Shakespeares ten Italian Plays as his only compass, Roe determined the exact locations of nearly every scene in Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest, and the remaining dramas set in Italy. His chronicle of travel, analysis, and discovery paints with unprecedented clarity a picture of what the Bard must have experienced before penning his plays.
Equal parts literary detective story and vivid traveloguecontaining copious annotations and more than 150 maps, photographs, and paintingsThe Shakespeare Guide to Italy is a unique, compelling, and deeply provocative journey that will forever change our understanding of how to read the Bard . . . and irrevocably alter our vision of who William Shakespeare really was.
In addition to executing a private legal practice for more than forty years, Richard Paul Roe undertook a lifelong study of Shakespeares Italian Plays. A recipient of degrees in English literature and European history from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a juris doctor summa cum laude from the Southwestern University School of Law, he lived in Pasadena, California, until his death in 2010.
“A fascinating look at a largely untouched aspect of Shakespeare’s identity and influences. Recommended for Shakespeare enthusiasts and scholars as well as travelers looking for a new perspective, this is also particularly intriguing as a companion to specific plays.”
-Library Journal (starred review)
“An exceptionally entertaining, enlightening, and handsome companion for a thrillingly literate Italian sojourn.”
“Exciting, original, and convincing....This book is essential reading for all concerned with who really wrote the works of Shakespeare. A thrilling journey of discovery.”
-Sir Derek Jacobi
“This is a revolutionary and revelatory book, part thrilling detective story and part sober scholarly treatise.”
-Michael York, Shakespearean actor of stage and screen and co-author of A Shakespearean Actor Prepares
“This represents a hugely significant intervention in the study of Shakespeare and his dramatic works.”
-Dr. William Leahy, Head of the School of Arts, Shakespeare Authorship Studies, Brunel University
“Unless someone can prove him wrong, anyone who claims to have written the plays of Shakespeare needs to show some Italian travel documents.”
-Mark Rylance, Founding Artistic Director, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London