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Shakespeare's Ear presents dark and sometimes funny pieces of fact and folklore that bedevil the mostly unknown history of theater. All manner of skullduggery, from revenge to murder, from affairs to persecution, proves that the drama off-stage was just as intense as any portrayed on it. The stories include those of: An ancient Greek writer of tragedies who dies when an eagle drops a tortoise on his head. A sixteenth-century English playwright who lives a double life as a spy and perishes horribly, stabbed above the eye. A small Parisian theater where grisly horrors unfold on stage. The gold earring that Shakespeare wears in the Chandos portrait, and its connections to bohemians and pirates of the time. Journey back to see theatrical shenanigans from the ancient Near East, explore the violent plays of ancient Greece and Rome, revel in the Elizabethan and Jacobean golden age of blood-thirsty drama, delight in the zany and subversive antics of the Commedia dell'arte, and tremble at ghostly incursions into playhouses.

About the Author

Tim Rayborn

Tim Rayborn is a historian, medievalist, and musician, with an MA and PhD from the University of Leeds in England. He is a writer on a variety of topics in history and the arts, from the academic to the amusing to the appalling. A professional musician with a specialty in medieval repertoire, he plays dozens of musical instruments, has appeared on more than 40 recordings, and has performed in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. He lives in Northern California.

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