Shakespeare by Park Honan
A Life

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Synopsis

In the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date narrative of Shakespeare's life ever written, Park Honan uses a wealth of fresh information to dramatically alter our perceptions of the actor, poet, and playwright.

The young poet's relationships, his early courtship of Anne Hathaway, their marriage, his attitudes to women such as Jennet Davenant, Marie Mountjoy, and his own daughters, are seen in a new light, illuminating Shakespeare's needs, habits, passions and concerns. Park Honan examines the world of the playing companies -- the power of patronage, theatrical conditions, and personal rivalries -- to reveal the relationship between the man and the writing, and using previously unpublished material
explores the causes of Shakespeare's success; Stratford childhood, his parents' capabilities, and his preparations for a London career. Shakespeare: A Life casts new light on the complexity and fascination of Shakespeare's life and his extraordinary development as an artist.
 

About Park Honan

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Park Honan is Emeritus Professor at the School of English, University of Leeds. He has written biographies of Jane Austen, Matthew Arnold, and Robert Browning. He lives in the United Kingdom.
 
Published October 29, 1998 by Clarendon Press. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shakespeare

Publishers Weekly

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So little evidence of Shakespeare's life exists that biographers have had to resort to sometimes far-fetched guesswork to flesh out a vivid chronicle of his days. Many of them would benefit from the h

Feb 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare: A Life

The New York Times

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Given Shakespeare's benignity and his ''calm, fine control,'' one can hardly be surprised that the book's real dramatic juice resides in talk of the plays, which may explain (not for the first time) why Shakespeare the man is never as interesting as Shakespeare the poet-dramatist.

Mar 09 1999 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare: A Life

Publishers Weekly

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this biography's value, by contrast, lies in its responsibly researched, unflinching look at what is indisputably the artist's real achievement: ""Far from soothing an audience,"" Honan writes, ""Shakespeare depicts human nature in ways that are at once truthful and deeply troubling.""(Feb.)

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Project MUSE

At the outset, she discredits the attribution to Shakespeare of Hand D in the manuscript fragment of Sir Thomas More on the grounds that "half a dozen late signatures do not seem to me to provide an adequate sample on which to base an identification of Shakespeare's secretary hand" (xii).

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