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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Great Fire of London

On the evening of September 1, 1666 Thomas Farrinor, the king's baker, did not fully extinguish the fire in his oven, at his bakery on Pudding Lane.

Embers caused a fire that spread rapidly.

By the time the Great Fire of London was extinguished -- four days later! -- more than 80 percent of London was destroyed.

Amazingly, only 16 people lost their lives.

But 13,000 houses, many public buildings, and 90 churches were gone.

Old St. Paul's Cathedral, which Shakespeare would have seen, and walked by countless times in the years that he lived in London, was destroyed.

Old St. Paul's Cathedral

As far as Shakespeare is concerned, I have often wondered what evidence of his life and times might have been lost in the fire.

There may have been letters, drafts of plays that were produced or un-produced, and other documents that were destroyed in this Great Fire -- all of which could have given us more insight into Shakespeare's life and work.

What if there was proof for everything that we have ever wanted to know about Shakespeare was lost in this catastrophe?


David B. Schajer

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