Shakespeare and Elizabeth: The Meeting of Two Myths

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Princeton University Press, Apr 5, 2009 - History - 295 pages
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"The relationship of the two greatest icons of Englishness has proved irresistible to novelists, artists, filmmakers, and conspiracy theorists. Helen Hackett deftly covers this story from Sir Walter Scott's Kenilworth to Shakespeare in Love, from fantasies that Queen Elizabeth was Shakespeare's lover to those that she was really the poet's mother. This is a terrific work of cultural criticism, one that reveals a great deal about the fashioning of national and literary identity."--James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

"Helen Hackett's thorough and highly readable survey demonstrates compellingly how Elizabeth and Shakespeare have for centuries led linked lives in the popular imagination. Drawing on a rich vein of materials, Hackett expertly tells the unlikely story of this double myth in a way that will intrigue readers both in the academy and far beyond."--Alan Stewart, author of Shakespeare's Letters

"Here is an extremely well-written, clearly constructed history of the afterlives of Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare, and in particular how their reputations have been tied together. An impressive and impeccable pursuit of an interesting modern myth."--Nigel Smith, Princeton University

"Well-formulated and cogently written, this book's strength lies in materials brought to light for the first time. Hackett gives a fascinating account of the ways in which the cultural capital of Elizabeth's prestige waned, while Shakespeare's rose, with the advent of romanticism and the growing idealization of individual genius."--Mary Beth Rose, University of Illinois, Chicago

"Supported by considerable amounts of visual material, this is a thorough, detailed, and illuminating look at treatments of Elizabeth and Shakespeare in relation to one another."--Nicola Watson, Open University

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About the author (2009)

Helen Hackett is a reader in English literature at University College London. Her books include Virgin Mother, Maiden Queen: Elizabeth I and the Cult of the Virgin Mary.

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