Anthony Holden, an experienced biographer, has written a refreshing and entertaining biography of one of the most celebrated writers in history. Holden's portrayal is a racy, incident-packed account of Shakespeare as husband, father, actor, poet and Stratford lad who found subsequent immortality via the stage of Elizabethan London. There are also some controversial, but intriguing claims. Not only was Shakespeare a covert Catholic, who spent his so-called "lost years" as a budding actor in Catholic households in Lancashire under the name of "Shakeshafte," but he also suffered from sexually transmitted diseases, a nervous breakdown, fathered an illegitimate son via his middle-aged landlady, and sailed close to the political wind with what Holden sees as his residual Catholic and "republican instincts." Shakespeare's life was as colourful, varied and dramatic as his works, and is illuminated by Holden's lively narrative and refreshing approach to the Bard as an Elizabethan man behaving badly.
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by Bernard Knight
by The Medieval Murderers
by Anthony B. Thompson, Denise George
by Clay Byars
by Nigel Collin
by Wendy Holden
by Elisabeth Guthrie, Kathy Matthews
"A pop chronicler of British royals turns his attention to the Bard of Avon, sleuthing through the meager evidence already well examined by more qualified investigators. He presents some of his novel speculations about Shakespeare's personal life as incontrovertible fact, so "buyer beware." No warnings are needed, however, regarding reader Paul Mathews, who attacks this overlong tome with gusto, particularly the many quotes from the plays and poems. These he delivers with the juicy aplomb of a classically trained actor who loves his work. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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