- Series: Very Short Introductions
- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198718624
- ISBN-13: 978-0198718628
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.2 x 4.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Reprint Edition
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this is an excellent place to start exploring the life and work of probably the most celebrated dramatist not only in Britain but also throughout the world. * Shiny New Books * So all in all I enjoyed this little book very much, and it made me want to go back to the plays themselves as well as to delve into some recent secondary works. If you think you might have failed to fully appreciate Shakespeare, whether owing to bad teaching or to less than first-rate performances, this is an excellent place to start exploring the life and work of probably the most celebrated dramatist not only in Britain but also throughout the world. * Shiny New Books, Harriet Devine * an engaging and insightful guide which may inspire its readers to explore not only the author's life and works, but the wealth of contemporary Shakespearean manifestations. * English * Wells approaches his subject matter with refreshing clarity and potent enthusiasm ... his convivial tone is one of this volume's great strengths. * English *
About the Author
Stanley Wells, described by Roy Hattersley as, "Our greatest authority on Shakespeare's life and work", is honorary President of The Shakespeare Birthplace, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual Shakespeare Survey, and writes for the Times Literary Supplement and many other publications. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare and co-author of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. His most recent books are Shakespeare for All Time, Looking for Sex in Shakespeare, and Shakespeare, Sex, and Love.
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It is an uncontested fact that both of Shakespeare's parents were illiterate, and that he left behind one daughter who was illiterate, and one who was functionally illiterate. There is no physical evidence that Shakespeare could write any more than his name, and you can google search his poorly formed signatures to verify this for yourself. There are no letters from Shakespeare to anybody, and no evidence of any personal connection with the publishers of his plays. Even the spelling of his name Shakspeare varies from that of the writer of the works.
Imagine if you lived in this era when approximately 80% of the population were illiterate, your parents are illiterate, your children are functionally illiterate, what are the chances that you are the greatest writer in the English language, yet would not even teach your own children to read or ensure they had an education?
Yet this is what Wells and other Shakespeare scholars expect you to believe. So, who are you going to believe, a scholar whose mortgage was paid by Shakespeare, and whose identity is based on the Shakespeare writer persona, or your own lying eyes? Recently, Wells made the false claim in a video that Shakespeare transferred to the Stratford Grammar school to complete his education, without qualifying his statement in any way. To verify literacy google "Diana Price literacy."
In order to make Shakspeare of Stratford fit the Procrustian bed they have made for him, they claim the works could have been written by someone who only had a grammar school education, thus diminishing the works of the man to fit the myth they have been forced to negotiate.
Wells and other scholars do not like when you exercise independent or critical inquiry into this subject. He wants you to rely on his authority. However, be advised, you do so at your own peril. There is a question of 'Shakespeare's authorship.' It's not going away.