| Ruled Britannia |
POD: July-August, 1588
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Birth:||Mid 16th century|
Strawberry investigated William Shakespeare for the Spaniards, and was presented with a fair amount of evidence that Shakespeare and Lord Westmorland's Men were writing the seditious play Boudicca. However, the unintelligent Strawberry was easily misled by Shakespeare and his co-conspirators, and he never even suspected what they were doing.
His fluency in the English language was no better than his competence at law enforcement, and Strawberry's speech was peppered with a number of malapropisms, much to the bafflement and bemusement of the professional wordsmiths (including Lope de Vega, who was not a native English speaker) with whom he frequently dealt.
In the afterword to Ruled Britannia, Harry Turtledove explains that Strawberry is fictional, but that his origin should be "obvious". This presumably refers to Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, where the similarly named Constable Dogberry exhibits the same level of cluelessness, and speaks in the same type of malapropist pidgin. On page 189, the phrase "much ado about nothing" is worked into Strawberry's lines.