Kirsten's Reviews > Shakespeare's Wife

Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer
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Jul 08, 2008

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Read in July, 2008

This was somewhat uneven. Greer's main goal is to challenge all the scholarly assumptions that have been made about Ann Hathaway over the years: that she seduced Shakespeare, that she trapped him into a loveless marriage, that he ran off to London to get away from her, that she was illiterate and probably had no idea about his work...... She uses a lot of Stratfordian records to show that most of those scenarios were highly unlikely. (For example, if he had absconded to London, it would have been considered desertion, and was punishable by law. Not a good idea for someone in a high-profile public position.) She paints a picture of what everyday life might have been like for a woman living in a small town of that era, which was really interesting. And you have to support someone actually using the available evidence to support their conclusions, instead of just Making Stuff Up. But there are chapters that get bogged down in too much details - local politics and suchlike - which got boring, and were thusly skipped.
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