Sabato 15 Giugno 2024
Giulia HardingI was born in Liverpool in 1955, the only child of John and Joyce Harding. I received a private education and trained as a journalist with the local newspaper group, joining the BBC in the early 1970s. I have had a 30 year career as a producer and presenter of news and current affairs programmes for various BBC radio stations until taking early retirement in 2001. My Italian name comes from my father’s love of the Italian language and literature and the fact that he did much of his business in the food industry with Italian producers (canned tomatoes were considered very exotic in Britain in the 1960s.) Dad had always loved Shakespeare and often commented “the man writes in English but thinks in Italian.” One day he learned that the Italian linguist John Florio had been tutor to the young Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s patron, and guessed that Florio might be the source of all things Italian in the plays. From then on he made it his passionate mission in life to prove Florio’s involvement in Shakespeare’s works. Dad died in 1999 leaving mountains of typescript notes and hundreds of books and Mum and I lamented that his great project would now gather dust. I then decided I must continue the work and taking early retirement allowed me more time to pursue the study, visit far-flung libraries, find rare books and use the research skills I had learned at the BBC to discover more. Neither I nor my father could be called academic scholars; rather the phrase ‘amateur detective’ might fit the picture. Nevertheless I believe that between us we have now arrived at a body of research information which is of real value to Shakespeare studies and may begin the important business of elevating the reputation of John Florio to the position he properly deserves in literary history.