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William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction

Stanley Wells

April 2015

ISBN: 9780198718628

144 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

In this new offering from Stanley Wells comes an exploration of one of the world's greatest dramatists: William Shakespeare. Written with enthusiasm and flair, Wells looks at both the world Shakespeare lived in and all of his major works, to show how and why he continues to be so influential and important to society today.

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Description

In this new offering from Stanley Wells comes an exploration of one of the world's greatest dramatists: William Shakespeare. Written with enthusiasm and flair, Wells looks at both the world Shakespeare lived in and all of his major works, to show how and why he continues to be so influential and important to society today.

  • Written by the pre-eminent Shakespearean critic Stanley Wells
  • Examines the life and work of one of greatest playwrights in British history
  • Explores the impact and context of all Shakespeare's works
  • Looks at the importance of theatre and drama in Shakespeare's time
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - over seven million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Stanley Wells, Honorary President, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Stanley Wells, described by Roy Hattersley as 'Our greatest authority on Shakespeare's life and work', is honorary President of The Shakespeare Birthplace, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual Shakespeare Survey, and writes for the TLS and many other publications. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare and co-author of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. His most recent books are Shakespeare For All Time, Looking for Sex in Shakespeare, and Shakespeare, Sex, and Love.

Table of Contents

    Preface: Why Shakespeare?
    1:Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon
    2:Theatre in Shakespeare's time
    3:Shakespeare in London
    4:Plays of the 1590s
    5:Shakespeare and comic form
    6:Return to tragedy
    7:The classical plays
    8:Tragi-comedy
    Epilogue
    Chronology: Shakespeare's works
    Further reading
    Index

Reviews

"Wells approaches his subject matter with refreshing clarity and potent enthusiasm ... his convivial tone is one of this volume's great strengths." - English

"an engaging and insightful guide which may inspire its readers to explore not only the author's life and works, but the wealth of contemporary Shakespearean manifestations." - English

"So all in all I enjoyed this little book very much, and it made me want to go back to the plays themselves as well as to delve into some recent secondary works. If you think you might have failed to fully appreciate Shakespeare, whether owing to bad teaching or to less than first-rate performances, this is an excellent place to start exploring the life and work of probably the most celebrated dramatist not only in Britain but also throughout the world." - Shiny New Books, Harriet Devine

"this is an excellent place to start exploring the life and work of probably the most celebrated dramatist not only in Britain but also throughout the world." - Shiny New Books

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