Bill Bryson : Shakespeare, The World As Stage

Ok, so, maybe I’m a little neurotic about some things.  A friend got me the above-mentioned book, and I’m skimming the liner notes.  There’s a reference to Delia Bacon that says “who thought her namesake, Francis Bacon, authored the plays.” Excuse me? Delia Bacon did indeed think that Francis Bacon wrote the plays, but to the best of my knowledge they were no relation. So naturally, rather than read the book, I began the hunt for her section.  There’s neither index nor table of contents in the book, so I had to jump and skim to the logical place where she’d be mentioned.  Sure enough, it again called Francis Bacon her “namesake”, although in context it does mention that there is “no genealogical connection” between the two. Ok.  Phew.  I can actually read and enjoy the book now. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Bill Bryson : Shakespeare, The World As Stage

  1. aluminiumgirl says:

    Hi, I stumbled across your blog because I too am reading Bill Bryson’s “Shakespeare”. I just thought I’d comment on the word “namesake”: it doesn’t technically mean related (as you later found out) but just as ‘having the same name as’. I hope you’re enjoying the book. I am.

    Write on.

  2. This is true, the leap was my own – typically you would name someone after someone else for a specific reason, most typically a family relation. The dictionary definition of the word does cite “named after someone else” as the more common meaning than simply “shares the same name”.

    Given that we’re talking about the last name of Bacon, though, I assume that it has to mean this latter and more general case – it’s not like you can normally choose your family name.

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