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Shakespeare Unbound

Shakespeare Unbound
Your Price: $27.95 CDN
Author: René Weis
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 479
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0805088652
ISBN-13: 9780805088656

About the Book:

At last — a key that unlocks the secrets of Shakespeare's life.

Intimacies with Southampton and Marlowe, entanglements in London with the elusive dark lady, the probable fathering of an illegitimate son — these are among the mysteries of Shakespeare's rich and turbulent life that have proven tantalizingly obscure to scholars.

Despite an avalanche of recent scholarship, René Weis, an acknowledged authority on the Elizabethan period, believes the links between the bard's life and the poems and plays have been largely ignored. Armed with a wealth of new archival research and his own highly regarded interpretations of the literature, the author finds provocative parallels between Shakespeare's early experiences in the bustling market town of Stratford — including a dangerous poaching incident and contacts with underground Catholics — and the plays.

Breaking with tradition, René Weis draws upon a lifetime of research to reveal that it is the plays and poems themselves that contain the richest seam of clues about the details of Shakespeare's professional and personal life, at home in Stratford and in the shadowy precincts of theatrical London — details of a code unbroken for four hundred years.

Neither musty nor academic, Shakespeare Unbound speaks in today's idiom without sacrificing the playwright's rich and mellifluous language. Controversial and always spirited, René Weis's biography of the world's greatest writer is authoritative, compelling, and compulsively readable.

What people say:

"Weis does forge linkages between the work and the life ... thanks to his insights ... Shakespeare's serenely beautiful lines buzz with a new life." — The Washington Post

"Entertaining and engrossing . . . irresistibly attractive . . . Weis's Shakespeare gratifies the desire that the great man be just like us, only more so." — Booklist

"Where [Shakespeare Unbound] differs from Shakespeare in Love is that it offers a good deal of research to support its story. Weis is prepared to invest the recorded facts with emotion — Shakespeare's emotion." — Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"Weis uncorks great casks of knowledge about Elizabethian England and Shakespeare's oeuvre to animate the Bard's rich life and times ... a sure-to-be controversial bio-historical feast: Shakespeareans will devour it." — Kirkus Reviews

"Weis is thought-provoking from the start ... he succeeds admirably, offering a welcome corrective to the tendency to dismiss a writer's life from the consideration of his work ... Weis's study is vivid, accessible and profound." — The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Weis sets out to prove, with impressive learning, just how deep are the connections between art and experience ... his clear matching of the texts to life yields some wonderful insights." — The Observer (UK)

About the Author:

René Weis is a professor of English at University College, London, where he has worked since 1980. His main area of research is is the life and work of Shakespeare, which he teaches extensively.