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THE BARD Scholars Accuse Shakespeare of Tax Evasion AP

Scholars Accuse Shakespeare of Tax Evasion

Apparently Shakespeare’s Shylock was autobiographical. Scholars from Aberystwyth University in Wales are arguing that the bard was a savvy businessman, selling grain at a markup during a famine and pursuing those who owed him money. His business dealings occasionally got him into trouble: he was accused of tax evasion and prosecuted for hoarding grain during a time of shortage. The researchers say scholars have overlooked Shakespeare’s financial activities in order to preserve his image as a romantic genius. “Shakespeare the grain-hoarder has been redacted from history so that Shakespeare the creative genius could be born,” they wrote in a paper due out this May at the Hay literary festival.

April 1, 2013 12:43 PM