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Shakespeare's Kings : the Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 (99 Edition)by John Julius Norwich
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
In a sparkling, fast-paced narrative, esteemed historian John Julius Norwich chronicles the turbulent events of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England that inspired Shakespeare's history plays. It was a time of uncertainty and incessant warfare, a time during which the crown was constantly contested, alliances were made and broken, and peasants and townsmen alike arose in revolt. This was the raw material of Shakespeare's dramas, and Norwich holds up his work to the light of history to ask: Who was the real Falstaff? How accurate a historian was the playwright? Shakespeare's Kings is a marvelous study of the Bard's method of spinning history into art, and a captivating portrait of the Middle Ages.
"Here is a book so charmingly written as to be difficult to put down—an historical account of Shakespeare's English Kings from Edward III to Richard III, a valuable, interesting, and very informative companion for the lover of the history plays. Insofar, it partakes of the charm of Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. It is not a deeply analytical work, tormenting itself and the reader with the difficult issues of facts and art, Shakespeare's intentions, and the role these plays fulfilled in the establishment of British national identity. This will be an advantage to the generalist, little enough caviar for the specialist. As with Shakespeare himself, the author becomes engrossed in the telling of a delightful and well-researched tale and cannot be bothered to clutter it up with uncertainties. It is nonetheless true that all but the most analytical will enjoy having this volume at their elbow." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
In a fast-paced, engaging narrative, Norwich chronicles the actual events of the 14th and 15th centuries that inspired Shakespeare's history plays, from the untimely death of the heroic Black Prince and Henry Bolingbroke's ousting of Richard II to the legendary Battle of Agincourt and the notorious 18-month reign of Richard III. of full-color photos.
About the Author
John Julius Norwich is the author of A History of Venice and the renowned Byzantium trilogy. He is chairman of the World Monuments Fund in Britain and lives in London.
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