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14 September 2008 @ 04:51 pm

Okay, so the last thing in the world that I need is another Shakespeare biography, and I haven't even read the last batch that came out since 1599 (I'm not sure I plan to, though Shakespeare's Wife is still in the queue somewhere), but I am kind of a Jonathan Bate fangirl, so.
La Reine Noire: Elegancelareinenoire on September 14th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Bate came to speak at our early modern seminar series last year, and I believe part of what he presented turns up in the book. I remember about half of it (when he was talking about bawdy courts and women's voices) being fantastic, and the other (Shakespeare's relationship with Lincoln's Inn) being only so-so. If you do read the book, please post about it! I've been leery of Shakespeare bios for a long time -- 1599 has repeatedly popped up on my radar but I haven't managed to pick it up yet.
tempestsarekind: the man himselftempestsarekind on September 14th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Well, if I do read it, I'll certainly post! I think I like Bate so much because his work just seems so sensible, even when I don't agree with him. And he's written very useful stuff on the authorship controversy.

I really enjoyed 1599; I think focusing on only one year lets James Shapiro avoid a lot of the over-the-top speculation that goes on in Shakespeare biographies, especially about his childhood. I wasn't wholly convinced by his section on Hamlet, but I really liked the chapter on Henry V.
La Reine Noire: Crystal Balllareinenoire on September 15th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
Oooh, anything histories-related sounds good to me. :) And it isn't that the Lincoln's Inn thing was bad in and of itself -- I just didn't find it as interesting, and it seemed as though he was taking something very small and stretching it very far. But, you're right in that everything he says sounds sensible above all other things; it definitely comes across when he's speaking aloud.
tempestsarekind: peddlers of bombasttempestsarekind on September 15th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
it seemed as though he was taking something very small and stretching it very far.

Ah, one of the perils of academia. :)

I will certainly keep an eye out for the Lincoln's Inn stuff if I read the book, though--thanks!