Will & Me – How Shakespeare Took Over My Life by Dominic Dromgoole. 2006. Read in May 2007, mostly on our bus trip to Rome.
This is a book I wish I had written, and in a way could have written (apart from the small fact that I'm not the director of the Globe Theater in London, like he is). This blog is my version, one could say.
Dominic Dromgoole writes in his foreword, “My story is of how I have stumbled, shambled and occasionally glided through a life with Shakespeare as a guide” (p. x). Unlike Dromgoole, most of my life has been lived without Shakespeare, but reading his book before my Shakespeare period had really begun, I could already feel the stirrings and this book certainly helped me on my way.
I was jealous of Dromgoole's background of having Shakespeare a part of his life since childhood. Imagine having Shylock, Hamlet, Falstaff, Jaques, Romeo (“with his drippy passion, which even then I found a bit disappointing beside Juliet's mental energy”, p. 56), Othello, Desdemona as playmates. On second thoughts, scary! Anyway, from childhood on, Dromgoole gives us details of his reactions and feelings upon meeting Shakespeare in various forms and one can easily see why Will was and is so important to him.
Dromgoole ends his book with a description of how he and a friend made the long seven-day walk from Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon to the Globe Theater in London. I would really like to do that! Footsore and weary, they saw on their last lap an ad for a camping store sale: “Now is the discount of our winter tents”. Now that's what I call a Shakespeare sighting!
I now see the problem with writing about the Shakespeare books I've read. I want to read them all over again. Immediately.