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Painter, William

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
Jane Kingsley-SmithJane Kingsley-Smith

Painter, William (c. 1540–94), schoolmaster, fraudulent clerk at the Tower of London, translator. 

Painter’s Palace of Pleasure (1566–7) is a collection of prose tales, mainly from Boccaccio, Bandello, and Cinthio, in Painter’s own English translations. As a repository of plot material, it may have been a particular favourite of Shakespeare’s: the outlines of The Rape of Lucrece, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Timon of Athens, and All’s Well That Ends Well are all found in these volumes. Painter translated with such conscientiousness that he made few alterations to his sources, though he may have been responsible for the protagonist’s name in Romeo and Juliet being Romeo, not Romeus as in Brooke.

Jane Kingsley-Smith