That Man Shakespeare: Icon of Modern Culture
Helm Information Limited, Jan 1, 2005 - 340 pages
This second book in the Icons of Modern Culture series traces the growth of Shakespeare's reputation after his death and the demand that arose for a satisfactory image of the writer responsible for so much intense and varied pleasure. It shows how legend was used to compensate for the lack of reliable information about Shakespeare's life, and the different ways in which succeeding generations dealt with such apparent difficulties as, for instance, the warmth of his addresses to a man in the Sonnets or his supposed ill-treatment of his wife in his will. 'Who was William Shakespeare?' is a question which has not only been answered differently in different generations but also in different ways by scholars, biographers, novelists, dramatists and poets. This lack of consensus has neither inhibited the belief that 'Shakespeare' is universally known, nor lessened the commercial and publicity value of his image: a paradox which this book amply illustrates.
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