Willy-Nilly

From the Aug/Sept 2010 Print Edition

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? By James Shapiro Simon & Schuster, 339 pages, $26 The subtitle of James Shapiro’s lively new study is a real question that has long engaged serious artists and thinkers”Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, Orson Welles, . . . . Continue Reading »

Searching for the Soul of Shakespeare

From Web Exclusives

After three years of tests”tree-ring dating (to determine the age of the wood frame), x-ray examination at Cambridge University, and infrared reflectography”Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Institute unveiled earlier this year a new painting of Shakespeare, the Cobbe portrait (1610). Scholars and non-scholars alike eagerly gathered around computer screens and televisions to see for the first time what might well be the dark-eyed, youthful, intelligent, and finely featured face of William Shakespeare, age forty-six. When it comes to Shakespeare, new evidence is hard to find, and everyone is interested… . Continue Reading »

Sisters & Daughters

From the Aug/Sept 2009 Print Edition

It started back in May 2001, at a graduation party in my daughter’s tiny New York apartment, just off Broadway, five flights up. Christine has won prizes in classics and Italian, a set of other honors, and she has no use for any of them. She has dropped two decades of aspiration and academic . . . . Continue Reading »

In Response to Joseph Pearce

From Web Exclusives

Joseph Pearce’s reply is as overheated and inaccurate as his book. I shall gladly leave it to your readers to determine whether there is anything of a “shrill personal attack” or ad hominem argument in my review, or whether those appellations better describe Pearce, who preens himself . . . . Continue Reading »

Thy Canonized Bones

From the Aug/Sept 2008 Print Edition

The Quest For Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome by Joseph Pearce Ignatius, 216 pages, $19.95 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 . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare’s Religion

From the May 2008 Print Edition

In 1613, at the end of his career, Shakespeare joined John Fletcher to dramatize the reign of Henry VIII—the king who broke with Rome and started the Protestant revolution in England. The play ends with Thomas Cranmer’s rhapsodic paean to the once and future queen, Elizabeth, who would . . . . Continue Reading »