This stupid "documentary" was on telly to-night, and I accidentally came across it just as it was beginning. As soon as the one woman began to pronounce the Shakespeare family name as "Shakspere," I turned it off. Spelling of names was notoriously inconsistent in the 1600's, but for me there is plenty of evidence that the Stratford family spelled their name "Shakespeare." The Stratford Parish Register Entries often name, in christening records, as "Shakspere," The burial register for the playwright's brothers, Gilbert (bury'd 3 February 1612) and Richard (bury'd 1613) have the name spell'd "Shakspeare." The morons who insist on spelling the Stratford poet's name "Shakspere" &c do so because of the very poor signatures the poet left behind, in his will and other papers. But we have Gilbert's signature of 1609, which clearly has an "e" after "Shak":
And we have the tomb of Shakespeare's younger brother, Edmund, who followed his elder brother to London and became a player on the stage, and who passed away in 1607. There the family name is engraved for all to see, thus:
The matter of Shakespeare's not leaving behind any manuscripts of his plays is obviously answer'd. The plays were the property of his troop. How else could two of his troop's fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, compile their excellent First Folio? What was their source of these texts? Obviously, they own'd ye original manuscripts. Those who wou'd deny that Shakespeare wrote his plays can do so only by ignoring solid historical fact.
That's why, as soon as I heard the mispronunciation of Shakespeare's family name by this woman who is ignorant of historical fact, I turn'd off ye this worthless program, and put on one of my audio discs of Shakespeare's plays, and drank in the music of his genius. Selah.