Samuel Schoenbaum, 69, a Shakespeare scholar who helped...


March 31, 1996

Samuel Schoenbaum, 69, a Shakespeare scholar who helped stitch together a picture of an elusive life by sifting papers gathering dust in Stratford-upon-Avon and other English archives, died of prostate cancer and multiple sclerosis Wednesday in Washington.

At his death, Dr. Schoenbaum, 69, was director of the Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies at the University of Maryland. In 1993, he retired as distinguished professor emeritus of Renaissance literature in the English department on the College Park campus.

He joined the faculty in 1976 after a brief stint as distinguished professor of English at the City University of New York. He taught at Northwestern University, from 1953, when he received his doctorate at Columbia University, until 1975.

Dr. Schoenbaum lived in walking distance of the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill, where he drew his inspiration. He regarded himself as an archival sleuth.

His books included the award-winning "Shakespeare's Lives" (1970) and "William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life" (1975). Both laid to rest some accepted myths and fantasies about the playwright and actor and his Globe Theater.

Pub Date: 3/31/96

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