Recent research into William Shakespeare by literary scholars indicates that he may have been a great dramatist, but he was truly the Bad Bard when it came to paying his taxes.

Earlier this month, it was reported that researchers Jayne Archer, Howard Thomas and Richard Marggraf Turley of Aberystwyth University in Wales uncovered documents containing some previously overlooked details of Shakespeare’s life that cast him in the light of a ruthless businessman. According to a paper that the academics plan to deliver next month at a literary festival, Shakespeare not only was accused of tax evasion by the authorities, but as a large landowner and grain merchant he was also prosecuted in 1598 for hoarding grain in the midst of a food shortage. One would have thought that he could have deducted the popcorn at his Globe theater as a legitimate business expense.

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