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Shakespeare Unbound: Decoding a Hidden Life (John MacRae Books)
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Shakespeare Unbound: Decoding a Hidden Life (John MacRae Books)

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  38 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
At last—a key that unlocks the secrets of Shakespeare's life

Intimacies with Southampton and Marlowe, entanglements in London with the elusive dark lady, the probable fathering of an illegitimate son—these are among the mysteries of Shakespeare's rich and turbulent life that have proven tantalizingly obscure.

Despite an avalanche of recent scholarship, René Weis, an acknowle
Paperback, 496 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Holt Paperbacks (first published October 30th 2007)
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Just started for class...let's see how it goes


So as I've just finished it, I'm happy to say that I'm a little bit awed and humbled at my own humanity.

This is to do more with Shakespeare as a presence more fully realized than I had previously known him to be. I'm not an expert but I do definitely pay homage to the Bard- best writer ever? Do we need these categories? No! Is he anyway? Why not?

Weis writes well, and his effort here is well-done. The existential rumination is more modestly a tribu
Sep 09, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
A thoroughly fascinating journey for anyone interested in the man behind the famous plays and sonnets. The author uses historical documents and what is known about events, locations and even other people who crossed paths with Shakespeare to fill in the gaps of what we don't know about this enigma of a man. Granted, much of it is conjecture: nothing more than a very educated guess. Yet Weis makes his arguments very convincing and even acknowledges the opposing views and competing theories along ...more
Apr 18, 2009 Ed rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
If you only read one Shakepseare biography it should not be this one. "Shakespeare Unbound" seems unfinished--it is full of conjecture with lots of "this might be based on that" and "there is no reason to believe that". Weis thinks that young Will really did poach deer from the deer park owned by Sir Thomas Lucy, even speculating on how he might have transported the carcass. He thinks Shakespeare was a secret Roman Catholic and a closeted but abstentious bisexual. Weis knows his subject--you cou ...more
John Kennedy
Mar 13, 2015 John Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare as an individual is a very difficult subject to write about, but this is certainly a good attempt.

Its strength is its work on the early life of Shakespeare, where it stands above any other biography I've read. Speculations on the lost years were fascinating and more supported than most other speculations I've read.

It does far too much inference about the man from the structure of characters and plot-line. This is rorschach - the plays span most of known experience - and the quality a
Jun 19, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit speculative, perhaps, but fascinating. I deplore the faulty proofreading of page 400, which mentions "1 Corinthians 55" (does nobody read the Bible anymore?) but I thoroughly enjoyed Weis' comment 33 pages later: "In a way it is heartening to know that the daughter of the Puritan John Hall [therefore, the granddaughter of Shakespeare] affected beautiful undergarments. As long as the children of Puritans wore scarlet petticoats, there would be no need for scarlet letters."
Feb 11, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing
A stunning and profound biography of the world's greatest writer. It makes a firm case that Shakespeare was no more able to segregate himself from his humanity than any of us. His plays and poetry become even more beautiful and powerful given Weis's striking and adept scholarship. A joy to read for lovers of Shakespeare and accessible to anyone interested in how a great artist might create great art.
Jun 09, 2008 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was pretty good.
Jul 23, 2008 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of interesting theorizing. A lot of stuff I already suspected but also a few suprises. If you like Shakespeare and need a bio to read for Mat's library game-- I recommend.
Diane Dreher
The author combines some history and references to plays with an overactive imagination. For a more accurate new historicist life of Shakespeare, I'd recommend Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World.
Aug 21, 2008 Shana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was expecting each chapter to connect one of his works with his life. It turned out to be more of a biography with proofs of the connections interspersed with significant dates.
Rene rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2012
Mary Foxe
DNF. I could not get into it. Some points were good, but much of it was a stretch.
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