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Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes From His Life

Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes From His Life
Your Price: $42.95 CDN
Author: Katherine Duncan-Jones
Publisher: Arden Shakespeare
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 322
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 1903436265
ISBN-13: 9781903436264

About the Book:

RARE BOOK, only a very limited number of copies are still available.

This major biography of Shakespeare was first published in 2001 to great critical acclaim. It remains highly regarded and much cited by critics and scholars.

Ungentle Shakespeare is a lively, readable and challenging biography, by the editor of the acclaimed Arden edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets. It takes a fresh look at an enduring cultural icon, about whose life it is widely claimed that nothing is known. As a result Shakespeare has tended to be viewed in Romantic isolation: the Bard as lonely inspired singer enthroned on a mountain peak. The aim of this study is to replace the image of the lonely genius with one of Shakespeare as deeply involved, even enmired, in the geographical, social and literary context of his time. This Shakespeare is a man who lives in a congested city and has to deal with disease, debt and cut-throat competition; his manifest brilliance often makes him the object of envy and malice, rather than adulation. Much of his life and writing is seen as the result of accident and circumstance, rather than the product of artistic vision or a grand career plan. From his shotgun wedding at the age of 18 to the burning down of the Globe Theatre over 30 years later, he is beset by bad luck. His most brilliant works are seen as creative responses to external constraints, such as the plague outbreaks that frequently closed the public theatres during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Katherine Duncan-Jones also takes a fresh look at the tradition of Shakespeare's love for a 'Dark Lady' and concludes rather that he devoted his most personal and passionate writing to the service of young men.

What people say:

"This is a splendidly refreshing biography of Shakespeare, consistently provocative and intriguing in its rethinking." — Professor Peter Holland, Director, Shakespeare Insititute, University of Birmingham

"[A] deeply considered and stimulating book, informed throughout by the author's intimate knowledge of the literature and society of Shakespeare's age...." — Times Literary Supplement

"It is unquestionably the best Shakespearean biography of the new century." — Sunday Telegraph

About the Author:

Katherine Duncan-Jones is a Professor of Early Modern English at Somerville College, Oxford. Primarily interested in Elizabethan literature, history and biography, especially with reference to original texts and sources in manuscript and early editions she is currently researching Shakespeare's reputation from 1592-1623.