Shakespeares Italien




The Shakespeare Guide to Italy:

Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels


Richard Paul Roe




Richard Roe's book is  listed on the website. 

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

published by HarperCollins, HarperPerennial 2011, 
310 pages, $ 19.99.

Praise for The Shakespeare Guide to Italy:

Mark Rylance, first Artistic Director (1995-2005) Shakespearean Globe Theatre in London; actor and playwright writes:

There was an ancient grove of Sycamore trees outside the walls of Verona.Why should that matter? Michael Wood, the English Historian, once said to me when I asked him how Shakespeare knew so much about Italy, "he heard it from travelers in a pub." This was an advance on the printed assertions in my script when I played Romeo at The RSC; that Shakespeare knew nothing about Italy and just made it up. Most now agree he knew a lot about Italy, but no one, until Richard Roe, has bothered to find out just how much. I wonder why? There was an ancient grove of sycamore trees outside Verona within which Shakespeare hid Romeo. Why should that matter? I ask you, is that the kind of detail a traveler returning from Renaissance Italy talks about with his friends in the pub? A bunch of trees? No, it's the kind of thing a writer remembers. Mr. Roe has done some very original research. Unless someone can prove him wrong, it looks like anyone who claims to have written the plays of Shakespeare, 14 of which are set in Italy, needs to show some Italian travel documents.


Sir Derek Jacobi, Shakespearean actor and film director writes:

This is one of the most exciting, original and convincing demonstrations of how patient research and compelling evidence can spotlight dim corners of the Authorship Question. That Shakespeare had an intimate and specialist knowledge of Italy is now incontestable. His almost throwaway use of that knowledge is the strongest argument for its veracity. This book is essential reading for all concerned with who really wrote the works of Shakespeare. A thrilling journey of discovery.


Michael York, actor, writes:

This is a revolutionary and revelatory book, part thrilling detective story and part sober scholarly treatise.  The editing of Shakespeare's plays set in Italy can henceforth never be the same as the author proves convincingly that all the guesswork and contortions required to legitimize the errors of the Warwickshire "genius" are in, in fact, correct eye-witness observations from another playwright who knew intimately the social and geographic settings he was employing.


Dr. William Leahy, Brunel University, UK, Head of the School of the Arts, writes: 

Richard Roe has produced a beautiful book that will have a deep impact on our understanding of the Shakespeare plays set in Italy. Part travelogue, part rumination, wholly a labour of love, Roe moves through the various Italian locations like a detective hunting clues and he comes up trumps just about every time. He displays a deep and wonderful knowledge of Shakespeare's works and his findings produce new and important readings of the Italian plays and the author who was responsible for them. This book is bound to be controversial; but new knowledge always is. This represents a hugely significant intervention in the study of Shakespeare and his dramatic works.


Louis Fantasia, theatre director, educator and author writes:

With nearly a third of Shakespeare's plays set in Italy, we may think we know the Bard's Verona, Venice and Rome, let alone Padua, Mantua and Messina. But Richard Paul Roe, with his well-worn maps and plays in hand, is the perfect Baedeker, showing us sites and insights we might never have considered without him as our guide. As an Italian and a Shakespearean, I couldn't be more thrilled to have his book in hand the next time I teach or direct one of Shakespeare's Italian plays!


Dr. Daniel Wright, Director, The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre, Concordia University, Portland, OR writes:

Richard Roe's luminous achievement is nothing short of a new revelation - a parting of clouds that, for generations, have obscured the sunshine and scale of Shakespeare's Apennine art. That Shakespeare was a well-traveled Englishman of intimate Italianate sensibilities and experience can no longer be doubted.

Dr. Daniel Wright has written the Introduction to The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels.