Peter Ackroyd Shakespeare: The Biography

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Inhaltsangabe zu „Shakespeare: The Biography“ von Peter Ackroyd

Ackroyd both defies and corroborates Emerson's dictum that "Shakespeare is the only biographer of Shakespeare." For while he illuminates the Bard's life with a wealth of scholarship that Shakespeare himself could never have provided, Ackroyd wisely allows the Bard to tell much of his own story through revealing episodes in his own immortal work. When, for instance, we see a young schoolboy being badgered by a severe schoolmaster in Merry Wives of Windsor, Ackroyd lets us know why this unfortunate young scholar bears the name William: his circumstances reflect Shakespeare's own during his years in the King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon. Others (including Stephen Goldblatt in his Will in the World, 2004) have likewise mined Shakespeare's plays and poetry for telling clues about the playwright's life. But Ackroyd brings to his biographical reading the imaginative insights of a gifted poet and novelist, along with the passions of a scholar so absorbed in the Elizabethan world that he knows which Pembroke actor curled his lip when Shakespeare gave him a line dripping with wrath and which haughty dramatist matched wits with Shakespeare when he visited the Mermaid Tavern on Bread Street. Vivid and capacious, a life study worthy of its subject.
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