Mail delivery to Rome most be delayed. Otherwise our friend Carrie Gress would have asked Joseph Pearce about the hard-hitting review in the new issue of First Things of his new book on Shakespeare’s supposed Catholic faith.
If you’re a print subscriber, the August/September issue of First Things should be in your mailbox within the next few days-if it hasn’t already arrived. And if you’re an online subscriber, you’ll be able to read the issue early next week when it is posted online.
In the meantime, here’s the opening of Robert Miola’s review:
In The Quest for Shakespeare , Joseph Pearce claims that the “real Shakespeare” was a secret Catholic. Pointing in the preface to his own “robust muse” and “Bellocian bellicosity,” Pearce goes on to mock contemporary writers on Shakespeare as “vultures,” “carrion critics,” “gossip and gutter-oriented ‘scholars,’” and “silly asses of academe.”
A promising beginning, you might think. Unfortunately, The Quest for Shakespeare proves to be a patchwork of other people’s work, indiscriminately selected, hastily stitched together, and served up with self-congratulatory fanfare. Seldom has such a slight book managed to combine ignorance and arrogance on such a grand scale.
You might notice a banner ad for the book at the top of this page . . .
If you haven’t already read it, check out the feature essay Miola wrote for us in May, ” Shakespeare’s Religion .”