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Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes from his Life
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Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes from his Life

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  32 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The claim that virtually nothing is known about Shakespeare's life is dispelled in this text. It confirms that a substantial amount of records bear witness to material aspects of his life from baptism to burial and with much in between.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 22nd 2001 by Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare
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Molly Zeigler
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this - been a while since I attempted any of the myriad bios. Nothing terribly new, but there are some interesting connections and suppositions and journeys down the rabbit hole. Duncan-Jones' attempt to remain serious in tone and unsentimental makes for a somewhat detached/academic feel that at times both serves and detracts from the overall narrative and reading experience. Easy to see the influence this work has had in the bio-realm (and the influence of other, earlier works on this ...more
Matt
Sep 30, 2011 rated it did not like it

Blah. Duncan-Jones seems to know her material well enough certainly, though she writes with this stacatto, parrot-with-a-typewriter rythmn, which is quickly read but doesn't sink in all that much, or get penetrating with insights into the elusive, compelling Bard of Avon.

The history gets more of a focus here, which is a good thing, but when I read a bio of Shakespeare (it's for a class, not my personal whim) I kind of want to...I dunno...HEAR ABOUT SHAKESPEARE. This is of course totally differe
...more
David Cowling
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
In 400 years we seem to have reimagined Shakespeare in every possible light. Augustan sage, Romantic genius, trenchant nihilist, and in Katherine Duncan-Jones’ Ungentle Shakespeare, a nasty piece of work. Soon I shall declare him progenitor of the bongo drums. ('It’s been done', comes a bored cry from the gallery.)

These fanciful speculations are unavoidable given the relative poverty of the biographical record, but that need not be a regrettable thing. Duncan Jones’ interpretation offers a neede
...more
Aileen
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-03, fivestars
"Even though neither the library's founder, Sir Thomas Bodley, nor its first Librarian, Thomas James, were at all well disposed towards such light literature as play-books, the agreement ensured that a mint copy of the 1623 Folio6 was promptly delivered, being sent by the Librarian to an Oxford book-binder, William Wildgoose, in February 1624. Once returned, the book was chained to a shelf in the part of Duke Humfrey's Library known as Arts End by means of a clip through its front cover. Young m ...more
Mrs. Quinn
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book gives context to Shakespeare’s plays and poetry in history and in Shakespeare’s life’s events. It’s probably a good book for something like me who wants to understand the basics, in detail, about Shakespeare’s life. Katherine Duncan-Jones has certainly done her homework here. She juxtaposes him with his family, his contemporary friends and rivals, his sponsors, the politics of court, his financial and legal woes, his faults and indulgences, and scours his works, his co-writers’ and riv ...more
Mark
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent, detailed, well-argued view of Shakespeare's life. While there's not the connective narrative to get a full view, Duncan-Jones gets into hyper-focused detail on many aspects and events. This wouldn't be a great primer on his life for someone who has no knowledge of the basic biography, but is an excellent second step. It's fascinating, well written, and something I'll go back to again and again.
Tom Delise
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Don't buy a number of things -- and it is not just idolatry.
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