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The Genius of Shakespeare
With an introduction by Simon Callow
Judgements about the quality of works of art begin in opinion. But for the last two hundred years only the wilfully perverse (and Tolstoy) have denied the validity of the opinion that Shakespeare was a genius.
Who was Shakespeare? Why has his writing endured? And what makes it so endlessly adaptable to different times and cultures? Exploring Shakespeare's life, including questions of authorship and autobiography, and charting how his legacy has grown over the centuries, this extraordinary book asks how Shakespeare has come to be such a powerful symbol of genius.
Written with lively passion and wit, The Genius of Shakespeare is a fascinating biography of the life - and afterlife - of our greatest poet. Jonathan Bate, one of the world's leading Shakespearean scholars, has shown how the legend of Shakespeare's genius was created and sustained, and how the man himself became a truly global phenomenon.
'The best modern book on Shakespeare' Sir Peter Hall
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`The best book about Shakespeare for a generation' Philip Howard, The Times `As brilliant an account of the Bard's iconic universality as you could hope to find' Michael Billington, Guardian `Absolutely dazzling - illuminates the whole man and the influence he has in our lives' Simon Callow, Sunday Express `Occupies the territory of biography, literary criticism, theatrical and social history, and a journey across its landscape is one of constant delight and illumination' Sir Richard Eyre, Financial Times, Books of the Year `The theme of this wonderfully written, diverse book is diversity itself, and the range of the essays serves only to confirm the disparate nature of Shakespeare's achievement' Peter Ackroyd, The Times `The liveliest and most intelligent general book on Shakespeare I have read for a long time' John Gross, Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year Ambitious, exceptionally well informed and immensely engaging . . . Bate writes with unflagging energy, intelligence, with and enthusiasm * Daily Telegraph *