An article from the BBC News website yesterday detailed research by Ken Groves, a retired physicist and local amateur historian. He theorizes that Shakespeare may have been a schoolteacher in Titchfield, England between 1589 and 1592. According to Groves’ blog, Shakespeare mentioned in his work that writing was done in his ‘free time’, meaning that he was otherwise employed:
“But in his dedication to Venus and Adonis Shakespeare describes his ‘unpolished lines’ as being written during his ‘idle hours’ . This suggests that his main occupation at the time was not soley as a writer…”
Groves’ research has led him to suggest that Shakespeare’s employment was with the Third Earl of Southampton and that he worked as a teacher in their preferred country seat of Titchfield. Groves has also found numerous references to life in Titchfield in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. However, Groves has his doubters:
“But Prof Michael Dobson, director of the Shakespeare Institute, said although there had been speculation that Shakespeare had been a guest of the Earl of Southampton, he thought it was highly unlikely that he spent much time in the countryside. ‘When Shakespeare pops up in London in 1592, he’s already an up and coming playwright.'”
I have to say, if this theory were correct, how awesome would it have been if Shakespeare was your teacher! However, that said, I’ve looked at the original blog posting and there are many links between Shakespeare working and being in Titchfield, but no direct link that it was for three straight years in the schoolhouse. I look forward to hearing more details as they are found!