Anthony Burgess: Nothing Like the Sun

(2573 words)
  • Rob Spence (Edge Hill University)

Nothing Like the Sun (1964) was occasioned by the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s birth. It is not, however, as so many items produced at the time were, a matter of mere hagiography. Rather, it is an imaginative attempt at historical reconstruction, focusing on Shakespeare’s relationship with the “Dark Lady” of the sonnets, and dwelling on the often unsavoury aspects of London life at the end of the sixteenth century. The narrative is presented as the rambling final lecture before departure of a drunken English academic in a Malaysian college, Mr Burgess. This device allows Burgess-the-author the freedom to invent plausible but unsubstantiated details, such as Shakespeare’s contraction of syphilis as a …

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Spence, Rob. "Nothing Like the Sun". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2007
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]