Think you know Shakespeare? Think again… Was a real skull used in the first performance of Hamlet? Were Shakespeare's plays Elizabethan blockbusters? How much do we really know about the playwright's life? And what of his notorious relationship with his wife?
Exploring and exploding 30 popular myths about the great playwright, this illuminating new book evaluates all the evidence to show how historical material - or its absence - can be interpreted and misinterpreted, and what this reveals about our own personal investment in the stories we tell.
©2012 Lois Potter (P)2013 Audible Ltd
Potter's scholarship and breadth of reference is informative and extensive. The book spends more time on detailed critical considerations of the works, including the poems, than on the life but brings contemporary lenses to both. Unfortunately, the narrator emphasizes all the academic qualities of the prose with an overly enunciated, staccato reading that sounds just short of robotic, except when he is reading from the works, when his phrasing, remarkably, often becomes smooth and coherent. Quotes, too, are in a range of arbitrary accents that distract. He appears to have no acquaintance with the period at all, which results in pronunciations - shire rhyming with fire, Henslowe with now, Navarre in three syllables, etc.- that can only be generously called not standard. And "roman a clef" as "Roman ah cleff" is simply hilarious. The production is poor. You will learn more about Shkspr. You will work hard to do so.
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