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What did Shakespeare and his fellow dramatists know about the Border? Quite a lot, actually. The Border warden Lord Hunsdon was the patron of Shakespeare’s company before they became the King’s Men, and his son Sir Robert Carey, also a warden, may be remembered in Macbeth. This talk will discuss that and will also look at Robert Greene’s James the Fourth, where the Border is a place inhabited by the undead; John Ford’s Perkin Warbeck, which features a cross-Border raid; and The Lovesick King, written for King James I’s visit to Newcastle and partly based on the true story of the merchant Roger Thornton, who is shown building Newcastle’s city walls.
Lisa Hopkins was born in Carlisle and now lives in Sheffield. She is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University and co-editor of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association. Her books include Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad and From the Romans to the Normans on the English Renaissance Stage.
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