Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life

Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life

by Katherine Duncan-Jones
     
 

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First time in paperback!
This major biography of Shakespeare was first published in 2001 to great critical acclaim. It remains highly regarded and much cited by critics and scholars. Its author, Katherine Duncan Jones was an advisor to William Boyd for his film about Shakespeare's life (A Waste of Shame). The book shows Shakespeare as a man among men and a

Overview

First time in paperback!
This major biography of Shakespeare was first published in 2001 to great critical acclaim. It remains highly regarded and much cited by critics and scholars. Its author, Katherine Duncan Jones was an advisor to William Boyd for his film about Shakespeare's life (A Waste of Shame). The book shows Shakespeare as a man among men and a writer among writers. He lives in a congested city, where he encounters disease, debt and cut-throat competition. His brilliance often makes him the object of envy and malice rather than adulation. He is a shrewd purchaser of property and shows no inclination to divert any of his wealth to charitable or altruistic ends. He appears to be more interested in relationships with well-born young men than with women. Duncan Jones takes us through the complexities of life in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean England in a compelling well-told story. For this paperback reissue, the author has written a new Preface, detailing some of the recent debates about Shakespeare's biography and identity.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Engrossing...meticulously fleshes out her portrait of Shakespeare as social climber, as homosexual misogynist-cum-womanizer, and as skinflint...Her account of Shakespeare's hypothetical entry into the theatrical profession is a tour de force of biographical reconstruction...Striking and original elements...Katherine Duncan-Jones shines light into dark corners and brings skeletons out of the closet. Her courageous biography is partisan, idiosyncratic, and unforgettable. Anyone seriously interested in Shakespeare should read it.” —Shakespeare Quarterly

“Takes us on vivid biographical sojourns into the plays and poems.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“This is a work of extensive scholarship and even wider reading, and Katherine Duncan-Jones's knowledge of late 16th century writers is probably greater than that possessed by anyone at the time . . . Ungentle Shakespeare is a model of lucid scholarship which tries neither to beautify nor vilify its subject, but to present him as a living figure in the heat and the dust of the passing world.” —The Times of London

“An uncommonly good book. There are riches on every page.” —The Spectator

“Katherine Duncan-Jones's constantly illuminating and hugely enjoyable biography restores the author and his plays to bubbly life.” —The Observer

Ungentle Shakespeare strikes me as a brilliant book. It is also a fresh and original one . . . All told, I can recommend Ungentle Shakespeare both to those who think they know their Bard and to those still virgin in the matter.” —Literary Review

Ungentle Shakespeare is beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated. Its author's scholarly credentials are impeccable. At the same time, she tells a good story.” —The Independent

“Duncan-Jones is very good at bringing to life - and exploring the historical context - of a figure whose life is notoriously difficult to document because so many facts are missing.” —The Stage

Shakespeare Quarterly

Engrossing...meticulously fleshes out her portrait of Shakespeare as social climber, as homosexual misogynist-cum-womanizer, and as skinflint...Her account of Shakespeare's hypothetical entry into the theatrical profession is a tour de force of biographical reconstruction...Striking and original elements...Katherine Duncan-Jones shines light into dark corners and brings skeletons out of the closet. Her courageous biography is partisan, idiosyncratic, and unforgettable. Anyone seriously interested in Shakespeare should read it.
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Takes us on vivid biographical sojourns into the plays and poems.
The Times of London

This is a work of extensive scholarship and even wider reading, and Katherine Duncan-Jones's knowledge of late 16th century writers is probably greater than that possessed by anyone at the time . . . Ungentle Shakespeare is a model of lucid scholarship which tries neither to beautify nor vilify its subject, but to present him as a living figure in the heat and the dust of the passing world.
The Spectator

An uncommonly good book. There are riches on every page.
The Observer

Katherine Duncan-Jones's constantly illuminating and hugely enjoyable biography restores the author and his plays to bubbly life.
Literary Review

Ungentle Shakespeare strikes me as a brilliant book. It is also a fresh and original one . . . All told, I can recommend Ungentle Shakespeare both to those who think they know their Bard and to those still virgin in the matter.
The Independent

Ungentle Shakespeare is beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated. Its author's scholarly credentials are impeccable. At the same time, she tells a good story.
The Stage

Duncan-Jones is very good at bringing to life - and exploring the historical context - of a figure whose life is notoriously difficult to document because so many facts are missing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781408125083
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
06/22/2010
Series:
Arden Shakespeare Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
779,275
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Katherine Duncan Jones has published over forty articles on Elizabethan and Jacobean literature. Her biography Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet appeared in 1991, and her edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets was published by Arden in 1997. She is a Tutorial Fellow in English at Somerville College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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