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William Shakespeare: A Popular Life

William Shakespeare: A Popular Life
Your Price: $36.95 CDN
Author: Garry O'Connor
Publisher: Applause Books
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 394
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 1557834016
ISBN-13: 9781557834010

About the Book:

With this authoritative and absorbing biography, Garry O'Connor fills a gap left by the numerous critical studies of William Shakespeare. This biography creates a vivid impression of Shakespeare's family life, his marriage and sexuality, the intimate details of his background, and his relationships with the theatre, his audiences and the towering political figures of his time such as Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex. It captures the darkness and confusion of his religious feelings, and his painful search for identity as well as his continuous commitments to change and development. Garry O'Connor imaginatively and persuasively reconstructs the playwright's life and career. Above all it achieves the near impossible, transforming the anonymous and invisible William Shakespeare into a living mosaic – an unforgettable presence, answerable to the facts we know about him, but also the ambiguities and some of the wilder speculation.

Each age seeks its own image of William Shakespeare: here is an apt and moving one for the modern age, easily accessible to the general reader as well as illuminating and unexpectedly different to the Shakespeare aficionado. Drawing on documentary evidence, on the views of actors, directors and academics, and on the plays and poems themselves, Garry O'Connor imaginatively reconstructs the playwright's life and career. The result gives renewed insight into the works of an extraordinary man and bring Shakespeare alive for the modern age.

What people say:

"O'Connor's Shakespeare is a man of the theatre and the smell of the theatre is never far away. What a relief in the aftermath of so many biographers who anatomize Shakespeare's words to the point they disappear." — Sir Peter Hall, famed director and co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

"Garry O'Connor's Shakespeare is a contemporary figure ... he writes with enormous, extravagant, sometimes reckless enthusiasm. The ideas jostle each other off the page and many are worth savouring ... This is an entertaining book, and it has been a pleasure to argue with it." — John Mortimer in The Sunday Times

"A challenging and lively portrait. It is so gratifying to come across a Bardographer so boldly and wisely prepared to plug the gaps in the record." — Independent on Sunday

"His knowledge and love of Shakespeare's plays will encourage some readers to look at them again on the page or stage or both." — Benedict Nightingale in The Times

"A vivid re-creation of Shakespeare's career, against a background of the constant plotting that characterized Elizabethan politics." — Daily Telegraph

"Authoritative, riveting... scholarly and stylish." — Plays and Players

"O'Connor imaginatively reconstructs the world of Elizabethan theatre, inserting the shadowy figure of the playwright into it, and making some shrewd guesses about his personal and domestic life." — Sunday Telegraph

About the Author:

Garry O'Connor is an English playwright, biographer and novelist. He studied mime at the Jacques LeCoq School in Paris before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). He directed in the theatre for six years before he became a full-time writer. He has had five of his own plays produced, has reviewed theatre and cinema for The Times and the Financial Times, and is noted for his authoritative biographies of theatrical and literary figures. His favourite biography is that of William Shakespeare, in which he endeavours "to give Shakespeare a life, not only as a historical figure ... but the dimension of one who is still living."