Journals Higher Education



Published: 27 April 2000

512 Pages | 34 halftones

ISBN: 9780192825278

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Bookseller Code (06)

Shakespeare: A Life

Park Honan

In the last ten years, nearly every previously known fact about Shakespeare has been modified by new research. This book draws on such new, crucial information to dramatically alter our perceptions of the actor, poet, and playwright. Honan tells us virtually all that can be factually known or reasonably speculated about Shakespeare's life--from his childhood to his deathbed. We encounter fascinating portraits of the Bard's London (wherein violence and even murder were a part of daily life) and of his days as a neophyte actor (he may have learned as many as 100 small parts per season). Honan casts new light on the young poet's relationships--his early courtship of Anne Hathaway, their marriage, his attitudes toward women such as Jennet Davenant, Marie Mountjoy, and his own daughters--illuminating Shakespeare's needs, habits, passions, and concerns. He also examines the world of Elizabethan playing companies--the power of patronage, theatrical conditions, and personal rivalries--to reveal the relationship between the man and his writing.

Honan's Shakespeare: A Life captures a complex and fascinating career, illuminating Shakespeare's extraordinary development to become the greatest dramatist of his or any age.