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Shakespeare's Wife (P.S.)

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Shakespeare's Wife (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780061537165
ISBN10: 0061537160
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A polemical, ground-breaking study of Elizabethan England that reclaims Ann Hathaway's rightful place in history.

Little is known about the wife of the world's most famous playwright; a great deal, none of it complimentary, has been assumed. The omission of her name from Shakespeare's will has been interpreted as evidence that she was nothing more than an unfortunate mistake from which Shakespeare did well to distance himself.

Yet Shakespeare is above all the poet of marriage. Before him, there were few comedies or tragedies about wooing or wedding. And yet he explored the sacrament in all its aspects, spiritual, psychological, sexual, sociological, and was the creator of some of the most tenacious and intelligent heroines in English literature. Is it possible, therefore, that Ann, who has been mocked and vilified by scholars for centuries, was the inspiration?

Until now, there has been no serious critical scholarship devoted to the life and career of the farmer's daughter who married England's greatest poet. Part biography, part history, Shakespeare's Wife is a fascinating reconstruction of Ann's life, and an illuminating look at the daily lives of Elizabethan women, from their working routines to the rituals of courtship and the minutiae of married life. In this thoroughly researched and controversial book, Greer steps off the well-trodden paths of orthodoxy, asks new questions, and begins to right the wrongs done to Ann Shakespeare.

Synopsis:

Little is known about Ann Hathaway, the wife of England's greatest playwright; a great deal has been assumed, none of it complimentary. In Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer boldly breaks new ground, reclaiming this much maligned figure from generations of scholarly neglect and misogyny. With deep insight and intelligence, she offers daring and thoughtful new theories about the farmer's daughter who married Britain's immortal Bard, painting a vivid portrait of a truly remarkable woman.

About the Author

Germaine Greer is a writer, academic, and critic, and is widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of our time. Her bestselling books include The Female Eunuch and The Whole Woman. She lives in northwest Essex, England, and has taught Shakespeare at universities in Australia, Britain, and the United States.

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katknit, March 27, 2009 (view all comments by katknit)
For centuries, admirers of the Bard have been wondering why he married Ann Hatheway only to leave her for most of the rest of his life. Historically, scholars have almost universally blamed Ann, primarily through the mechanism of applying passages from Shakespeare’s works to his wife, particularly if they are critical in content. Germaine Greer justifiably found this practice unacceptable. Using documentary evidence, the genuine tools of credible biography, Greer has written the first comprehensive overview of Ann Shakespeare’s life.

Regrettably, very little documentation exists. Greer studied that which she could uncover, and thoughtfully blended it with factual information about the lives of typical, plebian women of the Elizabethan eras. The result is a plausible hypothesis about how Ann might have managed her situation as a woman left on her own to care for herself and her young children. And plunking herself down on her in-laws, as her detractors surmise, was not the option she selected. Greer presents her reader with an independent, capable Ann Shakespeare, one who was probably an astute business woman who did more than simply manage.

Greer, a Shakespeare scholar in her student days, also reinterprets passages of his writing, more favorably with respect to women and marriage. Where she misses her mark is when she overindulges in speculation, as, for instance, when she theorizes that the lengthy separation of Will and Ann could have been due to his having contracted syphilis. This is not a new idea, but Greer went overboard in imagining his medical treatment and early death, in great detail. Similarly, Greer devoted too much space to elaborating on business deals and other minutia not directly impacting Ann herself.

Flaws notwithstanding, Greer has done a service to women’s history by offering the world an Ann Shakespeare who was more than a discarded wife who made miserable the life of her husband.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061537165
Author:
Greer, Germaine
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
Greer, Germaine
Author:
Germaine
Author:
by Germaine Greer
Author:
Greer
Author:
Daheim, Mary
Author:
Schreiber, Ellen
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20090331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.02x5.36x1.03 in. .69 lbs.
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Criticism
Biography » Historical
Biography » Women

Shakespeare's Wife (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061537165 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Little is known about Ann Hathaway, the wife of England's greatest playwright; a great deal has been assumed, none of it complimentary. In Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer boldly breaks new ground, reclaiming this much maligned figure from generations of scholarly neglect and misogyny. With deep insight and intelligence, she offers daring and thoughtful new theories about the farmer's daughter who married Britain's immortal Bard, painting a vivid portrait of a truly remarkable woman.
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