Synopses & Reviews
How can biographies of Shakespeare continue to appear when so little is known about him? And when what is known has been in the public domain for so long? In the past decade, the majority of these biographies have been published by distinguished Shakespeareans - shouldn't they know better? To solve this puzzle, David Ellis looks at the methods that Shakespeare's biographers have used to hide their lack of knowledge. At the same time, by exploring efforts to write a life of Shakespeare along traditional lines, it asks what kind of animal "biography" really is and how it should be written.
"In exposing the fabrications that biographers have resorted to in the face of the lack of knowledge of any kind to be had about Shakespeare's personality and private life, this book is sharply incisive, humorously as well as forensically so. It is also thoroughly informative about Shakespeare's life, insofar as it is known."--George Donaldson, University of Bristol
"Not only, in my view, definitive in its treatment of its subject, but a
pleasure to read. Every scholarly library should own it, and all readers
interested in Shakespeare or biography." -- iThe Vocabula Reviewr
About the Author
is Professor of English Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury.
Table of Contents
1. Rules of the game
2. Bricks without straw
4. The female line and Catholicism
5. Boyhood and youth
7. The theatre
8. Patronage, or who's who in the Sonnets
9. Shakespeare and the love of men
10. Shakespeare and the love of women
12. London life
15. Retirement and death
18. The post-modernist challenge
19. The argument from expertise
20. Trahison des clercs?