Synopses & Reviews
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.
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.
A ground-breaking retelling and reclaiming of Anne Boleynand#8217;s life and legacy from a preeminentand#160;cultural thinker puts old questions to rest andand#160;raises some surprising new ones.
andldquo;Bordoandrsquo;s sharp reading of Boleyniana and her clear affection for this proud, unusual woman make this an entertaining, provocative read.andrdquo;andmdash;Boston Globe
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a reconstruction of Boleynandrsquo;s life and an illuminating look at her very active afterlife in the popular imagination. With recent novels, movies, and television shows, Anne has been having a twenty-first-century moment, but Bordo shows how many generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers have imagined and reimagined her: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto-andldquo;mean girl,andrdquo; feminist icon, and everything in between. Drawing on scholarship and razor-sharp analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of historyandrsquo;s most intriguing women, teasing out what we actually know about Anne Boleyn and what we think we know about her.
andldquo;Riveting . . . Bordoandrsquo;s eloquent study not only recovers Anne Boleyn for our times but also demonstrates the ways in which legends grow out of the faintest wisps of historical fact.andrdquo; andmdash;Book Page
andldquo;Engrossing . . . Ms. Bordo offers a fascinating discussion.andrdquo;andmdash;New York Times
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn
is a fascinating reconstruction of Anneand#8217;s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anneand#8217;s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of historyand#8217;s most infamous relationships.
Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto and#8220;mean girl,and#8221; feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.
About the Author
Susan Bordo, Otis A. Singletary Professor in the Humanities at University of Kentucky, is the author of Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body, a book that is still widely read and assigned in classes today. During speaking tours for that book, she encountered many young men who asked, "What about us?" The result was The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private. Her work has been translated into many languages and frequently reprinted in collections and writing textbooks. A popular public speaker, Susan lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and daughter, and teaches humanities and gender studies at the University of Kentucky.