Early Shakespeare portrait found in botany book

Victorian Reader

Victorian Reader

2015-07-06 15:53:24

An academic expert has claimed to have found the only known portrait of Shakespeare to have been made in his lifetime-in a 200 year old book of botany. 

Mark Griffiths claims to have cracked an "ingenious cipher" to identify the then 33 year old playwright. He made the discovery in the 1598 book 'The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes' which at 1,484 pages is the largest single volume book of botany printed in the English language. He studied the motifs surrounding the figures featured in an engraving on the title page to determine that one of these may well be the playwright himself.

 If valid many are suggesting it is "the literary discovery of the century".

However, the director of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham Professor Michael Dobson has said he is "deeply unconvinced" by the 'discovery' reminding us that this is not the first time that such a claim has been made.

 

Added from bbc.co.uk
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