Shakespeare's Kings

Shakespeare's Kings

3.86 (313 ratings by Goodreads)
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"The War of the Roses", the "Battle of Bosworth", and the "Princes in the Tower"; the century and a half covered by Shakespeare's history plays - from the recently authenticated "Edward III" and "Richard III" -is so full of incident that dramatic licence might seem unnecessary. But as this survey of the period shows, Shakespeare's dramas - which have influenced popular history for centuries - are prone to depart from the facts. By illuminating the enthralling political, military and dynastic events which supplied the raw material for the greatest dramatist in the English language, and the artistic, political and practical considerations that determined his approach to that material, John Julius Norwich does a great service both to lovers of traditional narrative history, and to all those interested in Shakespeare and his more

Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 137 x 199 x 36mm | 384g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140249133
  • 9780140249132

Review Text

Shakespeare, as US critic H L Mencken once observed, was 'the theatre's greatest craftsman'. In this fascinating and illuminating book the author has set himself the task of assessing how reliable the great craftsman was as a historian and biographer. Examining the historical plays chronologically, from the recently authenticated Edward III to Richard III, Norwich skilfully sets out the facts as they are known to scholars, and shows how - sometimes through ignorance or carelessness, or because of the dictates of the theatre of his time, but more often for the sake of some dramatic purpose - Shakespeare gave these facts a different slant and his characters an altered or invented personality. The result cannot fail to appeal to readers of history and playgoers alike. (Kirkus UK)show more

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313 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 24% (76)
4 46% (144)
3 22% (70)
2 6% (20)
1 1% (3)
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