Cover image for William Shakespeare : an illustrated biography
Title:
William Shakespeare : an illustrated biography
Author:
Holden, Anthony, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, 2002.

©2001
Physical Description:
320 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
"First published in Great Britain by Little, Brown and Company in 1999. This abridged illustrated edition published in Great Britain by Little, Brown and Company in 2002."
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316851596
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PR2894 .H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
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PR2894 .H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
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PR2894 .H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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PR2894 .H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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PR2894 .H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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PR2894 .H65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary

William Shakespeare's life was as colorful, varied, and dramatic as his works. He was the Warwickshire country boy who "disappeared" for 7 years before ending up in London as an apprentice act∨ whose peers could scarcely keep up with the plays he turned out for them; who rapidly became a favourite at the court of Elizabeth I; and who returned to Stratford a prosperous "gentleman," proud to realize his father's dream of a family coat of arms before his death at 52. This is an illustrated biography of the most renowned of all dramatists and poets.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Holden, a British journalist and the biographer of Prince Charles, Laurence Olivier, and Tchaikovsky, adds to the always-growing list of Shakespeare studies with his version of the Bard's life. Originally published in an unabridged, nonillustrated edition in Great Britain under the title William Shakespeare: The Man Behind the Genius, the present abridged and lavishly illustrated volume is geared to a popular audience that may know the dramatist primarily from the film Shakespeare in Love. Holden sets out all the known facts about Shakespeare's life and times, as well as outlining a number of theories about the playwright's religious beliefs, extramarital affairs, and the identity of the persons addressed in the sonnets. For those who want to know something about the author after reading or viewing the plays, this book is ideal, and the full-color reproductions of paintings and documents add to the book's visual appeal. Recommended primarily for most public library collections; academic libraries that have previous biographies of Shakespeare, such as those by Samuel Schoenbaum (William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life) and Anthony Burgess (Shakespeare), need not consider this an essential purchase.-Morris Hounion, New York City Coll. of Technology Lib., Brooklyn (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Holden gears this opulent abridged version of his William Shakespeare: The Man behind the Genius (1999) to readers who prefer notes short and sweet, and well out of view at the back of the book. He includes richly detailed portraits of such Renaissance figures as Mary, Queen of Scots, Ben Jonson, and Queen Elizabeth in coronation robes, to name a few. Even more abundant are 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century paintings of scenes from Shakespeare's plays. Unfortunately, it is often nearly impossible to connect the illustrations with the subject under discussion. For example, in the chapter entitled "The 'Upstart Crow,' " 11 pages of narration are overwhelmed by a full-page epigraph, 11 full-page reproductions of paintings, and two double-page reproductions. So even though Holden's prose, what there is of it, is eminently readable and urbane, the full version of Holden's biography is more appropriate for libraries and readers who seek to understand his interpretation of the tradition of Shakespearean biography. This beautiful abridgement is destined for the salon or the coffee table. M. A. Bushman Illinois Wesleyan University