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Shakespeare’s MoneyHow much did he make and what did this mean?$
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Robert Bearman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759249.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Shakespeare’s Money

Robert Bearman

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the issue of the general shortage of documentary material on which to base a biography of Shakespeare but, following discussion of the low survival rate of the type of document in which Shakespeare would have featured, it is argued that, while there is insufficient material from which to construct a detailed biography, there is still enough evidence to carry out a study of his business affairs, with particular reference to the amount of money he made at different periods in his life, either through his earnings as a writer or as a sharer in a successful theatrical company, and the uses to which any surplus capital was then put to provide him and his family with an investment income, and then to assess how this affected his status in society.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, biography, archives, business career, theatre history, social status, Stratford-upon-Avon

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