Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's in a name?

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," Romeo insisted. In his own time, "Shakespeare" was a household name, with many variant spellings--Shakespear and Shake-spear, for example--but though he had three children, there was no one to carry on his name. His only son Hamnet died in childhood, his daughter Judith (married to an unsavory character named Thomas Quiney) outlived all her children and died at 77. Shakespeare left most of his estate to his daughter Susanna, who married a local doctor and gave birth to one child, Elizabeth. Elizabeth married well but died childless--William Shakespeare's last direct descendant.

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