SUMMARY Shakespeare The Biography 100

Peter Ackroyd â 0 SUMMARY

SUMMARY Shakespeare The Biography 100 ë [Read] ➻ Shakespeare The Biography ➸ Peter Ackroyd – Drawing on an exceptional combination of skills as literary biographer novelist and chronicler of London history Peter Ackroyd surely re creates the world that shaped Shakespeare and brings the playwr Drawing on an exceptional Drawing on an exceptional combination of skills as literary biographer novelist and chronicler of London history Peter Ackroyd surely re creates the world that shaped Shakespeare and brings the playwright himself into unusually vivid focus With characteristic narrative panac. “Shakespeare is the only biographer of Shakespeare So far from Shakespeare’s being the least known he is the one person in all modern history fully known to us” EmersonThe Obscure The ElusiveThis ‘biography’ that Ackroyd strings together is mostly tedious though it has a few really good moments and it has to be admitted that it presents most of the facts that is known of the great Bard In spite of this I think it is a mistake to pick up this bio unless one is familiar with ALL the plays of Shakespeare including the controversially attributed ones since Ackroyd constructs the bio mostly through the plays and the lines and extrapolating form them tying together with some skill the fragmentary traces Shakespeare left in the world outside the stageThe fact that whatever is pieced together from outside plays is from the patchy legal records of Shakespeare’s land dealings taxes paid borrowingslendings cases filed and so on should give an idea of the tedium involved The saving grace is when Shakespeare’s contemporary critics step in to spice it up by naive statements that posterity was destined to have hearty laughs atAlso Ackroyd tries to do it both ways understand the life through the plays and then understand the plays through the life Which makes a bit of a mess in figuring out where the circle closes Also Ackroyd seems to lean towards reading the life into the work when the life can be read out of the work Maybe much of Shakespeare’s existence was the very construction of his plays and these in turn might tell us about him than can the set of random anecdotes that have escaped the distortions of history and Shakespeare’s own efforts to maintain a private life that Ackroyd tires so hard to dig out If Ackroyd had stuck to a consistent plan either way we might have had a much coherent workIn the end the ‘bio’ is definitely useful in understanding Shakespeare’s London which included the audiences stage limitations of the stage audience expectations what is known of his life with shadings of childhood influences dramaticpoetic progress worldly progress family troublestragediesambitions and the London Stage itself including economic conditions and preoccupations major rivals the dramatic scene of the time the actors the interaction bw actors and characters This is all very admirable but the uestion is how much of all this information is needed for understanding his plays especially when his greatest genius was apparently in being conspicuous by his absence in his works Ackroyd asserts this himself and thus nullifies his entire effort in one fell swoop if you detect a contradiction in the review here it is intended to show the same contradiction apparent in the bookIn addition Ackroyd is known to present speculation as concluded fact and reader has to keep his guard up throughout the book which is very tiring to be honest and not uite worth the effort

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He Ackroyd immerses us in sixteenth century Stratford and the rural landscape–the industry the animals even the flowers–that would appear in Shakespeare’s plays He takes us through Shakespeare’s London neighborhood and the fertile competitive theater world where Shak. The definite article in the title seems a little hubristic I don't know if this is the definitive biography of Shakespeare — haven't read any of the hundreds of others — but I certainly enjoyed itI don't know if I completely trust Ackroyd as a historian; it's probably unfair but I just get a nagging sense sometimes that he's a bit too fond of a good story He has clearly done a ton of research though and as you'd expect he's very good at providing historical context And he writes wellThere's a perception perhaps that we have very little historical record of Shakespeare other than the plays themselves so if anything I was surprised by how much material there was legal stuff references to him in other people's writing and so on Certainly there's enough to build up a broad brush picture of his life What there isn't is much that is truly personal no letters back and forth between London and Stratford no learned essays on theatrical techniue no gossipy personal journalSo instead of the common pattern of literary biographies where the biographer tries to use the details of the life to shed light on the work here it's often the other way round trying to mine the plays and poems for details that might tell us something about his life It's all hints and scraps and any conclusions are tentative and contingent but it's all uite interesting even soIn the end I think Shakespeare remains elusive but then if we knew every moment of his life I suspect it would only serve to emphasise the fundamental mysteriousness of genius What biographical detail could possibly be adeuate as an explanation

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Shakespeare The BiographyEspeare The Epubhe worked as actor and writer He shows us Shakespeare as a businessman and as a constant reviser of his writing In joining these intimate details with profound intuitions about the playwright and his work Ackroyd has produced an altogether engaging masterpiec. I find the writings of Peter Ackroyd to be veritable delights I have read 'London The Biography' as well as 'ThamesSacred River' and this author simply oozes with a profound knowledge of 'the smoke' it's environs and it's populace Although these books are uite hefty volumes his writing is extremely erudite and set out in short chapters that make his tomes hard to put down'Shakespeare The Biography' takes bardolatry up to a whole new level In view of the fact that personal records of Will o' the wisp are like gold dust and that even the dramatists works provoke debates regarding authenticity any biography at all seems beyond reach or as Ackroyd so elouently puts it 'lost in the voracious maw of time and forgetfulness'Yet such is the uniue expertise of Ackroyd's grasp of Elizabethan London coupled with a professorial perception of the Shakespearian canon the mists of four hundred years are lifted to produce a portrait of fantastic clarityCertainly this work on the Bard of Avon has been produced by some imaginative reading between the lines with many anomalous or intuitive perceptions that side step the ambiguous and scant records None the less I was transported back in time in a Wellsian machine and any thoughts of disputed authorship with Kyd Marlowe Wriothesley deVere etc can be discounted