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Shakespeare: scofflaw or man of his times?

April 9, 2013

The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

shakespeare taxes

The Los Angeles Times’ take on the recent report that William Shakespeare didn’t like to pay taxes and sought to profit from an archaic form of commodities trading says as much about the Times’ view of the world as it does about life in Elizabethan-era England.

The Times picked up on a report from researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales that claims the Bard of Avon was a grain hoarder and was pursued by authorities for tax evasion.

Profits from his actions were channeled into real estate deals, enabling Shakespeare to become a large landowner.

The Times calls Shakespeare a conniving character, a tax dodger and a profiteer. What it fails to do is add some economic context to its story.

While focusing on claims that Shakespeare “a tax dodger who profiteered during times of famine,” the Times makes just a brief mention of the fact that there was no copyright laws…

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