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Today in History – June 29th

  • dorkzilla (2240 posts)
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    Today in History – June 29th

    Late in the night on 28 June 1613, William Shakespeare went to a public house in Southwark, frustrated at his writer’s block and determined to get rat-arsed in the hopes of the sleep that would not come in the weeks since his creative juices had all but stopped flowing.  There he found his good friend Richard Burbage, similarly despondent over boredom with having to play Hamlet over and over again (“To be or not to be?  That shit is getting really old, Will. The Groundlings are now yelling for “not to be Burbage, now get off the stage, you big tosser!”)  .  The two proceed to get blind-stinking drunk and Burbage pulls out 2 clay pipes full of tobacco, a new export from the Virginia Colony, and says to Will “I hear this helps your synapses fire quicker, so what say you to we two going back over to the Globe, I will stand on stage, and perhaps some idea will come to mind”.  Shakespeare agrees that this is like the best fucking idea evah, so the two of them, now so drunk that they cannot walk upright more than 20 feet or so before falling on their bums, but by and by they reach the Globe.

    So Burbage walks on stage, eyes rolling about in his head, while Shakespeare is standing there saying “Richard, I got fuck-all.  I’m going back to Stratford and start sheep farming”.  Burbage tells Will to take out the little clay pipe he gave him over at the King’s Arms and encourages him to light up, handing him a candle stub with barely any wax left on the taper, to fire up the magical substance.  Covering one eye to steady his hand and his gaze, Shakespeare is suddenly overcome by sorrow and rum, beseeching the god Dionysus to favor him once more crying aloud “O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention!” at which point the candle burns his finger, causing Shakespeare to drop the taper which immediately sets the timber-framed and straw-roofed theater alight.  Burbage and Shakespeare manage (just barely) to flee the theater before the whole thing is engulfed in flames and falls to the ground and is nothing but a pile of ashes by the next morning, June 29th, 1613.

    The next day, hung over and smelling like a smoked ham, William Shakespeare sits down and writes “Henry V”, his writer’s block forever cured.

    cc6, heddafoil, HoneyBadger and 5 othersEnthusiast, notemason, Zopilote, daleanime, Haikugal like this

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  • dorkzilla (2240 posts)
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    1. And don't believe the story of why the Globe "really" burnt down 6/29/1613

    Yeah, right, “canon fire” – very convenient excuse.  This is the REAL story.  This one I didn’t make up. Honest.  Really. Seriously.