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Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? Paperback – Apr 19 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416541632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416541639
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Fascinating."
The New Yorker

"Shapiro is an engaging and elegant guide . . . a masterful work of literary history, an empathetic chronicle of eccentricity, and a calmly reasoned vindication of 'the Stratford man.'"
—Kevin O'Kelly, The Boston Globe


"James Shapiro is an erudite Shakespearean and a convincing one. . . . A bravura performance."
—Saul Rosenberg, The Wall Street Journal


"It is authoritative, lucid and devastatingly funny, and its brief concluding statement of the case for Shakespeare is masterly."
—John Carey, The Sunday Times (London)

About the Author

James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. He is the author of several books, including 1599 and Contested Will, and is the recipient of many awards and fellowships. Shapiro is a Governor of the Folger Shakespeare Library. He lives in New York with his wife and son.

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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 12 2010
Format: Hardcover
Shapiro's "Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare" is one of those timely reminders that it often best for the reader of the classical greats to continue focusing on the obvious implication of an author's words than to indulge in endless searches for something new. From Shapiro's reckoning, the past two hundred years or so has been rife with amateur attempts, often by misguided people, to prove to the world that dramatic works like "Lear" and "Hamlet" are not all they are cracked up to be. In fact, it has been claimed that many of the literary efforts of the Bard of Avon himself may well have been written by someone else more eminently able to compose such eloquent words. To back up these suppositions, biographers, especially from the Victorian period, have combined biographical and textual evidence that dispute the very authenticity of Shakespeare's authorship. Here are a number of points that Shapiro, an acclaimed Shakesperian scholar, makes in this very readable and well-developed study on the real identity of an English icon:
1. Very little useful biographical information exists that helps clarify the lingering mysteries in Shakespeare's life;
2. Writers, especially the better ones, rarely write directly about their own lives because the autobiographical usually doesn't sell. The reader is usually interested more about what an author has to say about life in general than about his or her own private experiences;
3. Searching for archival proof to support a questionable thesis as to the authenticity of an author has often led to bizarre circumstances where documents have been forged, wild claims published, and people's reputations eternally ruined;
4.
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Format: Hardcover
Intelligent, interesting examination of the 'who wrote Shakespeare' saga. Mr. Shapiro has written a book which brings so many issues to light and amazingly without a biased slant. He states all opinions and points of view in an eloquent and intelligible manner. Great read and accessible to the 'layperson' as well. Outstanding. Highest recommend.
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By Vlad Thelad TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 7 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Not only does Shapiro tackle, with all due thoroughness, the many claims against the man from Stratford's authorship, he identifies what really lies beneath. Throughout the last couple of centuries, those that have doubted that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare do so by sharing a common element in support of their creed: how could this - place here your pejorative adjective of choice - man possibly write the most extraordinary body of work in the English language history? The very compelling answer Shapiro proposes, supported with incontrovertible evidence, is simple: the lad had an unparalleled imagination.
Three cheers for the power of imagination and a five-star review for Shapiro.
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Format: Hardcover
Finally, someone puts to eternal rest the silly controversy around the identity Shakespeare. This is a readable but informed analysis of the whos, whys, and whats of a couple of centuries of argument that has made some otherwise respectable, intelligent people look rather foolish.
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