Shakespeare: A Life

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 479 pages
3 Reviews
In the last ten years, virtually every previously known fact about Shakespeare has been modified by new research. Park Honan draws on this new information to dramatically alter our perceptions of the actor, poet, and playwright.
Here is virtually all that can be factually known or reasonably speculated about Shakespeare's life. Readers will find a vivid picture of what Shakespeare's childhood might have been like in the small English town of Stratford, which had but a dozen streets in 1560. We meet his father, John Shakespeare, the glovemaker of Henley Street, who rose to the office of High Bailiff and Justice of the Peace before he was beset by financial difficulties. There is a fascinating portrait of London and of the life of an Elizabethan actor (a neophyte Shakespeare may have had to learn as many as a hundred small parts per season). Honan casts new light on the young poet's relationships--his early courtship of Anne Hathaway, their marriage, his attitudes to women such as Jennet Davenant, Marie Mountjoy, and his own daughters--illuminating Shakespeare's needs, habits, passions, and concerns. The author shows in fresh detail that Shakespeare was well acquainted with violent crime and murder in daily life. And he also examines the world of the playing companies--the power of patronage, theatrical conditions, and personal rivalries--to reveal the relationship between the man and the writing.
Park Honan's Shakespeare casts new light on a complex and fascinating life, illuminating Shakespeare's extraordinary development into the greatest dramatist of his or any age.

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Review: Shakespeare: A Life

User Review  - Kiof - Goodreads

In the admittedly strange world of Shakespeare biography, the only writer worth his salt is Park Honan (I might add Duncan Jones to the list, but I don't think Ungentle Shakespeare is a biography, per ... Read full review

Review: Shakespeare: A Life

User Review  - Tom Delise - Goodreads

Excellent biography. Read full review

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JSTOR: Shakespeare: A Life
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Shakespeare: A Life
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CNN - 'Shakespeare: A Life' - March 18, 1999
Authored by Park Honan, the Emeritus Professor at the School of English, University of Leeds, "Shakespeare: A Life" casts new light on a complex and ... books/ beginnings/ 9903/ shakespeare/

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I'm still quite fond, for example, of Park Honan's magisterial Shakespeare: A Life, from 1999, and James Shapiro's A Year in the Life of William ... printArticle/ 271139

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About the author (1998)

Park Honan is Emeritus Professor at the School of English, University of Leeds. He has written biographies of Jane Austen, Matthew Arnold, and Robert Browning, and lives in the United Kingdom.

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