Gray impressively brings to life the legendary figure of William Shakespeare in both his greatest works and the tempestuous world in which he lived in this impressive tale.
Blending history and literary interpretation with variations of his own, Gray expertly sketches William’s relatively comfortable early life in Stratford as a glover’s son, the government’s crackdown on Catholics and his father’s subsequent fall as a public figure in Stratford, the financial gravities which forced him to seek employment as a writer and actor in London, his son Hamnet’s death that profoundly affected both his life and art, and his dual specters of government prosecution and censorship while doing theatre. Gray explores some of the hotly debated questions such as Shakespeare spending time in the household of subversive secret Catholics, his steady conviction in his faith among others. With his deft skill at setting and character, Gray not only brings the Tudor era and the early Jacobean Age alive but also the artistic progress as well the historical upheavals Shakespeare had to live through. Seamlessly integrating dozens of Shakespeare’s poems and play excerpts into this enthralling and surprisingly little-known life story, the book brings readers closer to the elusive genius. This is a must-read.
Categories: historical drama