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The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels
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The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  7 reviews
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 Shakespeare’s 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 Temp
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Harper Perennial
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Sarah Bringhurst
Oh my goodness, I loved this book so much. In what is the culmination of a lifelong study and love affair, Richard Paul Roe posits that because of the intimate knowledge of Italian culture, geography, and history demonstrated in Shakespeare's plays, he must have been a cultured, erudite upper-class Englishman who spent significant time traveling in Italy, and not the traditional, untraveled Bard of Avon. As a caveat, I am a scholar neither of Shakespeare nor of 16th century Italy (I just happen ...more
Rik Walter
Puts to rest the notion that "Shake-Speare" didn't get Italy right. He got it right -- and he got it first-hand.
Space Thefinalfrontier
This book is a riveting account of Shakespeare's travel through Italy based solely on his Italian plays. Obviously, Shakespeare knew the latest fashion, ducal, cultural, and commercial centers, and other landmarks, transport technologies, and even a select grove of sycamore. To walk through that grove today is to become Shakespeare: I dare you.

Roe also sets the bar very high for diction. You will never again believe Shakespeare preferred the shallow, irreverent definition!
I love Shakespeare and I love Italy. What I don't love is a book that attempts to prove that he knows the country too well and therefore can't be him. I know; it's complicated. It's a gorgeous book with lots of pictures of various Italian spots, but that's not enough to offset the theory being propounded, a theory to which I don't subscribe. Ah well.
Many of Shakespeare's plays were set in Italy. It has long been disputed that Shakespeare wrote the scenes from personal knowledge or just copied someone else's accounts. This author, Richard Roe, proves that they were set in a real Italy by looking at places in Italy and matching them with the real meanings of the words Shakespeare chose.
This book is a wonderful look at locations mentioned in Shakespeare's plays set in Italy and, using clues from the plays themselves, seeks out the locations and documents them, along with their surrounding beauty.
Dec 31, 2012 LDuchess marked it as to-read
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