Like the Globe Theatre, what other places, or settings, are named in What places are there in Gary Blackwood's novel The Shakespeare Stealer?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Other than Shakespeare's theater, The Globe, Gary Blackwood's novel The Shakespeare Stealer certainly does refer to many locations in England. Another location spoken of in the very first chapter is the orphanage in which the main character Widge is raised until taken as an apprentice by Dr. Bright. We don't know of the exact location of the orphanage, though we do know that Dr. Bright lives in the hamlet of Berwick. We are also told that after Dr. Bright finished his education at Cambridge and began practicing in London, he moved up north to Yorkshire. Yorkshire is a large county in England, only a few smaller counties away from the Scotland border, farther up north. Also, there is a town called Berwick-upon-Tweed, Tweed being the name of a river, located farther up north than Yorkshire, in the Northumberland county right next to Scotland. Since Dr. Bright would not have traveled too far to an orphanage to find an apprentice, we can assume that the hamlet of Berwick is named after Berwick-upon-Tweed and also located in Yorkshire; hence, we can also assume that Widge's orphanage is in Yorkshire. So, we can say that another location Blackwood refers to in the novel is the county of Yorkshire.

Another location mentioned is Leicester, the city that Simon Bass brings Widge to once Bass purchases Widge from Dr. Bright as an apprentice. Leicester is a well-developed city in the county of Leicestershire, about four counties north of Greater London County. Leicester is also in an area called the Midlands, which Bass mentions when Widge first meets him, explaining that he manages a company of actors who "are not nearly so successful as the Lord Chamberlain's or the Admiral's Men, but they do a respectable business here in the Midlands" (p. 32). In the Middle Ages, the Midlands used to refer to a group of counties all under the same government administration. While the Midlands are no longer under the same administration, the Midlands refers to the counties of Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, and the West Midlands. The county of Leicestershire is specifically located in the East Midlands. Hence, we can say that two other locations mentioned in the book are Leicester and the Midlands.

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