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    William Shakespeare: His Life and Work

    Author: Holden, Anthony
    ISBN: 9780349112404
    Format: Paperback
    Anthony Holden's magisterial biography of William Shakespeare, reissued to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of the Bard's death.
    R139,00
    R185,00
    In Stock - Dispatched within 1-3 working days.
    Who was William Shakespeare? How did the 'rude groom' from Stratford grow up to be the greatest poet the world has known? Not for a generation, since the late Anthony Burgess's SHAKESPEARE (1970), has there been anything approaching a popular, mainstream biography of the greatest and most celebrated writer. Yet Shakespeare's life was as colourful, varied and dramatic as his works: the Warwickshire country boy who 'disappeared' for seven years before fetching up in London as an apprentice actor...whose fellow players could scarcely keep up with the plays he turned out for them...who rapidly became a favourite at the court of Elizabeth I...and returned to Stratford a prosperous 'gentleman', proud to realise his father's dream of a family coat of arms, before his death at 52. Anthony Holden brilliantly interleaves the poets own words with the known facts to breathe new life into a story never before told in such absorbing detail. 'The perfect blend of erudition and accessibility' - the Daily Telegraph's verdict on Holden's life of Tchaikovsky - applies equally to his revealing, very human portrait of Shakespeare.
    Who was William Shakespeare? How did the 'rude groom' from Stratford grow up to be the greatest poet the world has known? Not for a generation, since the late Anthony Burgess's SHAKESPEARE (1970), has there been anything approaching a popular, mainstream biography of the greatest and most celebrated writer. Yet Shakespeare's life was as colourful, varied and dramatic as his works: the Warwickshire country boy who 'disappeared' for seven years before fetching up in London as an apprentice actor...whose fellow players could scarcely keep up with the plays he turned out for them...who rapidly became a favourite at the court of Elizabeth I...and returned to Stratford a prosperous 'gentleman', proud to realise his father's dream of a family coat of arms, before his death at 52. Anthony Holden brilliantly interleaves the poets own words with the known facts to breathe new life into a story never before told in such absorbing detail. 'The perfect blend of erudition and accessibility' - the Daily Telegraph's verdict on Holden's life of Tchaikovsky - applies equally to his revealing, very human portrait of Shakespeare.
    Products specifications
    ISBN13 9780349112404
    Contributor Holden, Anthony
    Format Paperback
    Height 196.0
    Width 130.0
    Thickness 28.0
    Weight 316
    Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
    Publication Date 2000-10-19
    Short Description Anthony Holden's magisterial biography of William Shakespeare, reissued to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of the Bard's death.
    Full Description Who was William Shakespeare? How did the 'rude groom' from Stratford grow up to be the greatest poet the world has known? Not for a generation, since the late Anthony Burgess's SHAKESPEARE (1970), has there been anything approaching a popular, mainstream biography of the greatest and most celebrated writer. Yet Shakespeare's life was as colourful, varied and dramatic as his works: the Warwickshire country boy who 'disappeared' for seven years before fetching up in London as an apprentice actor...whose fellow players could scarcely keep up with the plays he turned out for them...who rapidly became a favourite at the court of Elizabeth I...and returned to Stratford a prosperous 'gentleman', proud to realise his father's dream of a family coat of arms, before his death at 52. Anthony Holden brilliantly interleaves the poets own words with the known facts to breathe new life into a story never before told in such absorbing detail. 'The perfect blend of erudition and accessibility' - the Daily Telegraph's verdict on Holden's life of Tchaikovsky - applies equally to his revealing, very human portrait of Shakespeare.
    Author Biography Anthony Holden is an award-winning journalist who has published more than thirty books, including biographies of Laurence Olivier, Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare. He has published translations of opera, ancient Greek plays and poetry. With his son Ben, he has edited Poems That Make Grown Men Cry and Poems That Make Grown Women Cry.
    Review The false assumption that we really don't know anything much about the world's greatest author has long been proved false: the problem is that the facts we have aren't the facts we want. This is why so many attempted biographies of Shakespeare are full of wild conjecture, when they are not composed of crackpot literary theory. Fortunately, almost every generation throws up a writer besotted with the subject who has the ability to write engagingly about it: the latest is Holden, who, having dealt with Prince Charles, Tchaikovsky and Laurence Olivier, now turns to a more difficult subject, and deals with it triumphantly. He gives us all the facts, is splendidly dismissive of the lunatic 'who wrote Shakespeare' argument, and is excellent on the relationship between the play texts and the life. This is notoriously dangerous ground, but Holden treads lightly - his conclusions are often persuasive, and even when at first they seem wild (Shakespeare had an affair with his landlady?), almost all of them, given thought, seem not only possible but probable. The illustrations, some in colour, are profuse and interesting - so that this book becomes the natural successor to Samuel Schoenbaum's great Documentary Life. A really fine and scholarly popular biography. (Kirkus UK)
    Review British journalist and biographer Holden (Charles at Fifty, 1998) tries his hand at Shakespeares life, poring over numerous sources in an earnest attempt to separate historical truth from legend.With hundreds of Shakespeare biographies already in existence, Holdens task was not an easy one. Many voices speak from the pages of his work, but Holden does not give in to any single opinion or theory (from speculations regarding the obscure period of Shakespeares youth to his possible but unlikely participation in the translation of King Jamess Bible). The Shakespeare portrayed here is a talented writer, a pragmatist rather than romantic in his vision of himself and his legacy. According to Holden, Shakespeare never expected his plays to outlive him, and he wrote his most beautiful sonnets for a narrow circle of intimates. Despite powerful patrons (including Queen Elizabeth and King James) and his immediate and stable fame, when it came to worldly affairs Shakepeare relied uniquely on his shrewd mercantile sense. Besides being a playwright and an actor, he was usually involved in the theater as a manager and shareholder (he owned one-tenth of the celebrated Globe playhouse, for instance). Although he never spent sufficient time with his family (deserting his native Stratford shortly after his marriage to Anne Hathaway and coming back only for brief stays until his retirement at 47), Shakespeare established his household in the biggest house in town and took the trouble to purchase a coat-of-arms. Holden indicates the obvious shortcomings of Shakespeare as husband and father, while also effectively debunking the common belief in his homosexuality. Shakepeare felt deep grief over the childhood death of his only male heir, Hamnet, and the tragic interruption of a father-son relationship resonates in his later works, reaching an acute pitch in Hamlet. A solid but uninspiring biography that is heavy on facts but lacks an engaging reading of Shakepeares own writings. (Kirkus Reviews)