ATG Quirkies: Who Says There Are No Shakespeare Manuscripts?

William_Shakespeares_First_Folio_1623-320x509Don’t believe us? Check out this entry for the Book of Sir Thomas More: Shakespeare’s only surviving literary manuscript  from the British Library collection.

It highlights “part of the only surviving play script to contain Shakespeares handwriting. Three pages of the manuscript, ff. 8r, 8v and 9r, have been identified as Shakespeare’s, based on handwriting, spelling, vocabulary and the images and ideas expressed.

The play is about the life of Sir Thomas More, the Tudor lawyer and polymath who was sentenced to death for refusing to recognise Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the Church in England. The work was initially written by Anthony Munday between 1596 and 1601… Shakespeare was brought in to revise the script, along with three other playwrights. Shakespeare’s additions include 147 lines in the middle of the action, in which More is called on to address an anti-immigration riot on the streets of London. He delivers a gripping speech to the aggressive mob, who are baying for so-called ‘strangers’ to be banished…”

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies)

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