Shakespeare: For All Time (Oxford Shakespeare)

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9780195160932: Shakespeare: For All Time (Oxford Shakespeare)

From the entry of Shakespeare's birth in the Stratford church register to a Norwegian production of Macbeth in which the hero was represented by a tomato, this enthralling and splendidly illustrated book tells the story of Shakespeare's life, his writings, and his afterlife.
Drawing on a lifetime's experience of studying, teaching, editing, and writing about Shakespeare, Stanley Wells combines scholarly authority with authorial flair in a book that will appeal equally to the specialist and the untutored enthusiast. Chapters on Shakespeare's life in Stratford and in London offer a fresh view of the development of the writer's career and personality. At the core of the book lies a magisterial study of the writings themselves--how Shakespeare set about writing a play, his relationships with the company of actors with whom he worked, his developing mastery of the literary and rhetorical skills that he learned at the Stratford grammar school, the essentially theatrical quality of the structure and language of his plays. Subsequent chapters trace the fluctuating fortunes of his reputation and influence. Here are accounts of adaptations, productions, and individual performances in England and, increasingly, overseas; of great occasions such as the Garrick Jubilee and the tercentenary celebrations of 1864; of the spread of Shakespeare's reputation in France and Germany, Russia and America, and, more recently, the Far East; of Shakespearian discoveries and forgeries; of critical reactions, favorable and otherwise, and of scholarly activity; of paintings, music, films and other works of art inspired by the plays; of the plays' use in education and the political arena, and of the pleasure and intellectual stimulus that they have given to an increasingly international public.
Shakespeare, said Ben Jonson, was not of an age but for all time. This is a book about him for our time.

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About the Author:


Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. The Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Vice-Chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, he is the General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare series and the Oxford Complete Works. A world-renowned authority, he regularly appears on TV, radio, and in the press whenever Shakespeare is discussed.

Review:


"Here is a man who has a fair claim to be the most complete Shakespearian of them all.... Now he has distilled a lifetime's work into one crisply written, richly illustrated and entertaining book."--The Sunday Times


"Scholarly, urbane, rich in anecdotes and marvelously readable, it is a meticulously constructed and authoritative survey with a vast and satisfying scope."--New Statesman


"The doyen of modern British Shakespeare scholarship.... Few will deny that he has an indisputable right to produce yet another book on Shakespeare whenever he feels like it.... His subject calls for, and gets, abundant, handsome, and instructive illustration. The book is therefore something of a hybrid, the biography amiable, the afterlife placidly illuminating and useful."--Frank Kermode, The New York Times Book Review


"This copiously illustrated album admirably compresses more than four centuries of the bard and more than 50 years of Wells's devotion to him."--Publishers Weekly


"Written with generosity and humor, Wells's book is an illustrated compendium encompassing new readings of the Bard's Stratford-upon-Avon and London years, thoughtful observations of Shakespeare the writer and a lively history of the Shakespeare legend.... Wells navigates through Shakespeare's afterlife with wit and authority. Whether dealing with his legacy in the fields of the visual arts, music, cinema, theatre or television, the book celebrates all Shakespearean manifestations, their imperfections notwithstanding. The result is that Wells brings us as close to an understanding of the man, the writer and the legend, as is possible in a one-volume study."--American Theatre


"Wells is deservedly the most celebrated Shakespearean scholar of our time.... It is not often you meet a scholar with a sense of humor, but Wells made me laugh out loud at his section which concerns the discrepancies of the various Shakespeare printed text.... Many anecdotes make the richly illustrated text a delight."--Birmingham Post


"One of those heavy, beautifully produced books which is a pleasure to look at as it is to read.... There's no doubting the scholarship here"--Time Out London


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