- Gebundene Ausgabe: 479 Seiten
- Verlag: Clarendon Press (Oktober 1998)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0198117922
- ISBN-13: 978-0198117926
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 3,8 x 21,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 10 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 461.314 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Shakespeare: A Life (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Oktober 1998
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Atheist, homosexual, rebel, ladies man, Tory, Catholic: the varieties of "Shakespeare" on offer since the first printed biography of the Bard appeared in 1709 are profuse and often bizarre. The late Ted Hughes even claimed that Shakespeare was a shaman, who visited the former Poet Laureate in a dream to dictate Hughes' (or Shakespeare's?) preposterous Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being. It therefore comes as some relief to read Park Honan's Shakespeare: A Life and find that it eschews the wilder side of Shakespearean biography.
Honan's book is the result of more than 10 years of research into primary sources dealing with Shakespeare's life and career, and the result is an impressively weighty and scholarly study. Honan is particularly strong on the early years in Stratford, and young William's relationship with his father, as well as the poet's attitude towards the women in his life: his intelligent mother, Mary, his shadowy wife, Anne, his sisters Joan and Margaret, and his two daughters, Susanna and Judith. Honan's touch is less sure when he follows Shakespeare to London, where the biography gets bogged down in interpreting virtually all of the plays in relation to biographical "facts", an approach which has been the subject of much criticism within Shakespeare studies in recent years. But if every age gets the biography of Shakespeare that it deserves, then Honan's version perhaps unwittingly offers us a Shakespeare which catches the spirit of Britain's current post-Thatcherite times.
Honan's Shakespeare is a cautious, astute man in both his professional and personal life. This Shakespeare shows routine deference to both kin and country, cautiously negotiating the political and commercial pitfalls of Elizabethan and Jacobean London, painstakingly learning his craft, and with a constant eye on his carefully marshalled financial assets. Honan's biography is detailed, precise, and very well researched, but it ultimately offers a curiously colourless and uninspired Shakespeare, lacking the passion of the Romantics or even the genius of the Victorians. Perhaps this is, after all, the Shakespeare biography that the end of the 20th century deserves. --Jerry Brotton
this is now the best available life of Shakespeare. * Stanley Wells, The Observer 18/10/98 *Alle Produktbeschreibungen
Following a List of Illustrations (which are excellent), an Introduction, and A Note on Conventions Used in the Text, Honan divides his book into for parts:
I. A Stratford Youth
II. Actor and Poet of the London Stage
III. The Maturity of Genius
IV. The Last Phase
At this point in my brief commentary, I want to stress that Honan's writing style is semi-formal but reader-friendly. His prose shares many of the same strengths evident in the works of other authors such as Alistair Cooke, E.B. White, and Charles Kuralt.
The world in which Shakespeare lived and worked was one of the most interesting throughout human history. Honan includes a wealth of social, political, and cultural information about that age in combination with anecdotes, gossip, speculations and conjectures, correlation's between Shakespeare's works and the details in his life, etc. What were Shakespeare's probable circumstances during his childhood and youth in Stratford? What was it like to live in London, especially when that walled city was ravaged by plague? Who attended live performances? When? Where? How were those performances financed? Who was Shakespeare's competitors for recognition and reward? Why did Shakespeare eventually retire to Stratford? What are the probable circumstances of the years there prior to his death in 1616? (Cervantes died on the same day in the same year.) Honan suggests answers to these and hundreds of other questions you may also have about Shakespeare and his age.
Is this the best biography of Shakespeare written thus far? I am unqualified to respond. Is this one of the most entertaining and most informative books I have read about a major figure in the history of western civilization? You bet. It does not "read like a novel" nor was it intended to. If you desire an "easy" read on this subject, try another source (eg Shakespeare for Dummies, Chicken Soup for Elizabethans). But if you want to make that "journey" back in time and would appreciate having an erudite, charming companion while you explore the many worlds in which William Shakespeare lived and worked, Park Honan would be an excellent choice. What about his fee? The cost of this wonderful book.
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