How did Shakespeare go from being a talented poet and playwright to become one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he saw and who he worked with as he invests in the new Globe theatre and creates four of his most famous plays - Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet. This book brings the news, intrigue and flavour of the times together with wonderful detail about how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman and playwright, to create an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.
1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen. James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.
The Life of William Shakespeare is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of Shakespeare's life and works focusing on oftern neglected literary and historical contexts: what Shakespeare read, who he worked with as an author and an actor, and how these various collaborations may have affected his writing. Written by an eminent Shakespearean scholar and experienced theatre reviewer Pays particular attention to Shakespeare's theatrical contemporaries and the ways in which they influenced his writing Offers an intriguing account of the life and work of the great poet-dramatist structured around the idea of memory Explores often neglected literary and historical contexts that illuminate Shakespeare's life and works
A comprehensive study of Shakespeare's forgotten masterpiece The Phoenix and Turtle . Bednarz confronts the question of why one of the greatest poems in the English language is customarily ignored or misconstrued by Shakespeare biographers, literary historians, and critics.
Ben Jonson was the greatest of Shakespeare's contemporaries. In the century following his death he was seen by many as the finest of all English writers, living or dead. His fame rested not only on the numerous plays he had written for the theatre, but on his achievements over three decades as principal masque-writer to the early Stuart court, where he had worked in creative, and often stormy, collaboration with Inigo Jones. One of the most accomplished poets of the age, he had become - in fact if not in title - the first Poet Laureate in England. Jonson's life was full of drama. Serving in the Low Countries as a young man, he overcame a Spanish adversary in single combat in full view of both the armies. His early satirical play, The Isle of Dogs, landed him in prison, and brought all theatrical activity in London to a temporary — and very nearly to a permanent — standstill. He was 'almost at the gallows' for killing a fellow actor after a quarrel, and converted to Catholicism while awaiting execution. He supped with the Gunpowder conspirators on the eve of their planned coup at Westminster. After satirizing the Scots in Eastward Ho! he was imprisoned again; and throughout his career was repeatedly interrogated about plays and poems thought to contain seditious or slanderous material. In his middle years, twenty stone in weight, he walked to Scotland and back, seemingly partly to fulfil a wager, and partly to see the land of his forebears. He travelled in Europe as tutor to the mischievous son of Sir Walter Ralegh, who 'caused him to be drunken and dead drunk' and wheeled provocatively through the streets of Paris. During his later years he presided over a sociable club in the Apollo Room in Fleet Street, mixed with the most learned scholars of his day, and viewed with keen interest the political, religious, and scientific controversies of the day. Ian Donaldson's new biography draws on freshly discovered writings by and about Ben Jonson, and locates his work within the social and intellectual contexts of his time. Jonson emerges from this study as a more complex and volatile character than his own self-declarations (and much modern scholarship) would allow, and as a writer whose work strikingly foresees - and at times pre-emptively satirizes - the modern age.
Questioning whether the impulse to adapt Shakespeare has changed over time, Lynne Bradley argues for restoring a sense of historicity to the study of adaptation. Bradley compares Nahum Tate's History of King Lear (1681), adaptations by David Garrick in the mid-eighteenth century, and nineteenth-century Shakespeare burlesques to twentieth-century theatrical rewritings of King Lear, and suggests latter-day adaptations should be viewed as a unique genre that allows playwrights to express modern subject positions with regard to their literary heritage while also participating in broader debates about art and society. In identifying and relocating different adaptive gestures within this historical framework, Bradley explores the link between the critical and the creative in the history of Shakespearean adaptation. Focusing on works such as Gordon Bottomley's King Lear's Wife (1913), Edward Bond's Lear (1971), Howard Barker's Seven Lears (1989), and the Women's Theatre Group's Lear's Daughters (1987), Bradley theorizes that modern rewritings of Shakespeare constitute a new type of textual interaction based on a simultaneous double-gesture of collaboration and rejection. She suggests that this new interaction provides constituent groups, such as the feminist collective who wrote Lear's Daughters, a strategy to acknowledge their debt to Shakespeare while writing against the traditional and negative representations of femininity they see reflected in his plays.
What do insects, the weather and chaos theory have to do with the economy? According to Paul Ormerod, everything. The economy is like society itself, he argues: a complex system living on the edge of chaos. Conventional economics has always failed to predict and manage its fluctuations. Governments and businesses need to adopt quite different mindsets and less heavy-handed approaches. Hence 'Butterfly Economics'. 'A fascinating and entertaining introduction to the economics of the 21st century.' New Statesman
Renaissance Humanism developed a fantasy of friendship in which men can be absolutely equal to one another, but Shakespeare and other dramatists quickly saw through this rhetoric and developed their own ideas about friendship more firmly based on a respect for human difference. They created a series of brilliant and varied fictions for human connection, as often antagonistic as sympathetic, using these as a means for individuals to assert themselves in the face of social domination. Whilst the fantasy of equal and permanent friendship shaped their thinking, dramatists used friendship most effectively as a way of shaping individuality and its limitations. Dealing with a wide range of Shakespeare's plays and poems, and with many works of his contemporaries, this study gives readers a deeper insight into a crucial aspect of Shakespeare's culture and his use of it in art.
Get to the heart of the most talked about topics of our time. All That Matters runs the gamut of the most exciting, interesting and topical subjects of today. To provide a flavour of the All That Matters series, this exclsuive sampler provides the opening chapters from nine notable books including the following: God by Mark Vernon Love by Mark Vernon Water by Paul L. Younger Space Exploration by David Ashford Modern China by Jonanthan Clements Shakespeare's Comedies by Michael Scott Cyber Crime and Warfare by Peter Warren and Michel Streeter Philosophy by Julian Baggini Future Cities by Camilla Ween All That Matters books are written by the world's leading experts, introducing to the quick-minded and curious reader the most important topics and hottest areas of debate on the subjects that really matter.