Shakespeare's Wife

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Bloomsbury, 2007 - Authors' spouses - 406 pages
23 Reviews
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Little is known of the wife of England's greatest playwright; a great deal, none of it complimentary, has been assumed. The omission of her name from Shakespeare's will has been interpreted as evidence that she was nothing more than an unfortunate mistake from which Shakespeare did well to distance himself.

Yet Shakespeare is above all the poet of marriage. Before Shakespeare there were few comedies or tragedies of wooing and wedding. Tragedies were not about loving 'not wisely but too well' but about the fall of illustrious men. Comedies were not about the pitfalls that lay in wait along the path of true love but about getting away with adultery.

Here, Germaine Greer combines literary-historical techniques with documentary evidence about life in Stratford, striving to re-embed the story of Shakespeare's marriage in its social context.

Part-biography, part-history, Shakespeare's Wife is fascinating in its reconstruction of Ann's life, and the daily lives of Elizabethan women. It offers an illuminating portrait of their working routines, the rituals of their courtship and the minutiae of married life.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gothamajp - LibraryThing

Greer makes a much needed attempt to challenge the popular assumption that Shakespeare disliked and abandoned his supposed shrewish, overbearing, and plain wife who was stifling his creatively. While ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lissabeth21 - LibraryThing

While I love the idea of this book, taking a fresh look at Anne Hathaway Shakespeare and imagining something different than the shrew up in Stratford. However, there was, in truth, less postulating ... Read full review

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Introduction considering the poor reputation of wives
Chapter Two introducing the Shakespeare family
Chapter Three of Ann Hathaways looks

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About the author (2007)

Germaine Greer gained her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1967 with a thesis on Shakespeare's Early Comedies and has taught Shakespeare at universities in Australia, Britain and the US. In 1986 she was invited to contribute the volume of Shakespeare to the prestigious Past Masters series. In 1989 she set up her own publishing imprint, Stump Cross Books, and went on to publish scholarly editions of Katherine Philips, Anne Wharton and Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea. She lives on three acres by a motorway exit in North-west Essex, with two dogs, thirteen geese and a fluctuating number of doves.

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