The Drama You Have Written
By Dr Colin Jory

The drama you have written will certainly interest greatly those with a fascination with Shakespeare's life, friends, cultural environment, and works - a very large and far-flung diaspora - and the same goes for your associated book.


My thoughts on your core argument are that your contention that Shakespeare and Emilia would have found each other fascinating, and have formed strong bonds of (at least) empathy and mutual admiration, is convincing. As you show, it is
evident from the plays that Shakespeare admired well-educated, witty women. That said, Emilia with her courtly upbringing and friendship with many of the highest personages in the land may have been unlikely to have developed a sexual
relationship with Shakespeare if only because it would have exposed her to even greater ridicule circles than when she became pregnant to Henry Carey and married Lanier - unless it was very secret liaison indeed.


I think you are right in inferring that the name Basanio in Merchant of Venice is a salute to the Bassano family so prominent among the Queen's servants at the Court, and especially to Emilia - given in particular her one-time intimate relationship with Henry Carey at the very time he was the Chamberlain's Company's patron. Even if Shakespeare initially simply plucked the  name Bassanio out of the ether without thought of the Bassano name, he would within milliseconds have realised that the "judicious" in his audiences would assume that he was cryptically saluting the Bassanos (or one of them); and so the fact that he persisted with the name shows that at the very least he was amenable to people making that inference.

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Emilia Bassano-Lanier’s Preface explains her motivations

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