Michael Drayton was born in the same part of England as William Shakespeare, Warwickshire, and one year earlier, 1563. Though the acclaim his work received in his lifetime was not sustained in later centuries, his place amongst the most notable English poets is secure. Drayton was a regular visitor to Clifford Chambers, a village close to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. This link was the result of circumstances in his early life, namely his involvement with the family of Sir Henry Goodere, in particular his friendship with his daughter Anne. Drayton’s admiration for her is reflected in his early verse, a pattern that continued after her marriage to Henry Rainsford, the squire of Clifford Chambers. Contemporary evidence indicates Anne’s personal qualities and intellectual interests, and the cultured ambience of the Rainsfords’ household. Drayton’s epic poem ‘Poly-Olbion’ celebrated the landscapes and history of counties in England and Wales, including Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, where Clifford was situated. He referred to the village as ‘the Muses quiet Port’ and described its country environs, blending pastoral literary convention with realistic topographical detail. Drayton’s visits to Clifford raise the likelihood of friendship with Shakespeare, especially since there was a network of connections linking the Rainsfords with people close to the dramatist, including the latter’s son-in-law John Hall who was their family doctor, and who treated Drayton on one occasion. However, there are reasons for thinking Drayton’s relationship with Shakespeare was not intimate. Both Anne and her husband inspired later poems by Drayton, and there is evidence that the poet frequently stayed at Clifford until shortly before his death. A relatively recent attempt to play down the significance of his relationship with Anne ignores the extent of his verse references to her and of the testimony for his visits to her home.
|Ausgabe / Jahr:||2 / 2014|
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