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.
Source: The Telegraph, April 1