STANDISH OF DUXBURY

1.5. Interview via FAQs (2002)

Helen Moorwood 2013

1.5. (15) Mainly about immediate hopes

What about your immediate hopes?

(1) I hope the information above has convinced Duxbury ‘cousins’ that all my conclusions are valid and if so, that they start F/W-ing the web address to anyone else they think might be interested. Publicity about new discoveries never seems to have done anyone any harm. The main problem with dry and dusty documentary discoveries is normally lack of publicity and restriction to a small scholarly readership; my Duxbury-Shakespeare findings are for the most part also dry and dusty, but with intriguing and potentially enormous implications for Shakespeare. By the way, I am fully aware of the problems of copyright. The very fact of having written this gives me sole copyright on my text, although not as yet (but legislation is forthcoming) on the ideas. Any findings published on this web site I am very happy to give away for free (otherwise I wouldn’t have put them here). However, as a sensible precaution on the sane advice of an old friend, who happens to be an expert in copyright laws on intellectual property, Peter has included the usual ‘copyright clause’. Please don’t be deterred by this from downloading, F/W-ing or anything else you might want or be able to do with it. The more publicity generated, the sooner the following hopes might be realised.

(2) I hope that any Shakespeare publicity generated by Duxbury ‘cousins’ might help me to find the right publishers for my books on Shakespeare, Myles Standish and the Duxburys and Standishes of Duxbury. All will have a different readership, and therefore probably require different publishers. I am well aware which the most appropriate ones (from my point of view) might be; the main problem will be in deciding whether to produce first a totally scholarly version or a popular history version, or something in between. Time will tell.

(3) I hope that my findings, as given above, already remove any doubts about the ‘Catholic Shakespeare in Lancashire’ theory for anyone who wanted to believe it but has demurred so far on the basis of the circumstantial nature of the evidence. I fully realise that this hope is hopeless in the immediate future for total sceptics, but know that they will have to accept it in the end, just because the documentary proof of so much is now there. 

(4) I hope that this helps Sir Bernard de Hoghton in some way with his plans for a Shakespeare Centre at Hoghton Tower. This and Rufford Old Hallare unique in England as the only Elizabethan houses where you can tread the same boards as Shakespeare did as a budding actor, knowing that he actually lived there for some time and that these were the very boards on which he took some of his first steps on his path to posthumous glory as the National Poet, Man of the Millennium and one of the most influential literary geniuses of all time. Not even the Shakespeare Birthplace house in Henley Street in Stratford can claim this, as it was totally rebuilt in the 19th century and its very authenticity as his birthplace has regularly been challenged. A Shakespeare Centre in Lancashire can only enrich the cultural life of the North West and provide another means for decentralisation of national culture from London to the provinces. 

(5) I hope that Centreparcs, who plan to recreate Las Vegas or Atlantic City in Blackpool within the near future, realise what historical potential they have on the doorstep. At the moment (according to reports in the national press since the summer of 2001 onwards) the first of six casino-hotels will be Pharaoh’s Palace. Egypt in Lancashire?! The Celts, Romans, Angles, Vikings, Normans, John of Gaunt, Shakespeare, the Witches and Dickens were there, to name but a few, but the Egyptians seem as much out of place in Lancashire as in Las Vegas. Mind you, William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, visited Egypt, so there is already a flimsy historical connection. My main hope is that when planning the next five casino-hotels, some account will be taken of local history. Working backwards in time, the following four themes are obvious: ‘Dickens’s World’, ‘Shakespeare’s World’, ‘The Angles’ and Vikings’ World’, and ‘Caesar’s Palace’. I'm stumped at the moment to produce a suggestion for the sixth, but all this lies way in the future, and in any case leaves me in the futuristic world of Julian Barnes’s novel England, my England. To return to current realities and facts, and immediate hopes, I can only hope that the second casino-hotel is devoted to ‘Shakespeare’s world’. This has all the right ingredients of swash-buckling pirates, gorgeous costumes and settings, sexy wenches, witches, alchemists, astrologers, etc. Gambling addicts could stay in their own world of illusion, but visitors interested in the real history could travel a few miles down the road and visit all the local sites associated with Shakespeare. Maybe some manager at Centreparcs will read this and take note? Maybe they will realise that this might be a means to reconciling local hostility and optimism? Maybe it will provide the financial support necessary for a Shakespeare Centre at Hoghton Tower? All is ‘maybe’ but ‘dum spiro spero’.

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