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In modern life we are all too familiar with ideas of image and celebrity. This highly original study investigates the early evolution of Shakespeare's public 'image', or reputation, as a man, an actor and a poet, both from his own viewpoint and from that of his contemporaries.

About the Author

Katherine Duncan-Jones is an internationally respected Shakespeare scholar, author of the critically acclaimed biography Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life, editor of the Arden Shakespeare edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets and co-editor of the Arden Shakespeare's Poems. She is a Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford


'Katherine Duncan-Jones...has given much energy and expertise over the years to showing that it was the other, less lyrical, shrewd-headed Shakespeare we glimpse in county archives and Chancery documents who secured the success and eventual apotheosis of 'Gentle Shakespeare,' the poet commemorated by a fine folio edition of his works in 1623. Duncan-Jones' Shakespeare is Shakespeare the survivor, the tradesman's son with no university credentials and no connections in high places...This new book is valuable for its revaluation of previous material (from Ungentle Shakespeare) its greater conciseness and its updated research...(which) allows Duncan-Jones to drawn the line she sees in Shakespeare's life more sharply... ...Her writing is immersed in close textual detail, yet there is still a strong, overriding sense of Shakespeare's presence in his various milieus...(Duncan-Jones has) an astute touch.' * John Stubbs, Literary Review *
'Shakespeare, in this analysis, is characterised as someone who had to assert his own position amid a fiercely hierarchical society...Duncan-Jones demonstrates that Shakespearean self-promotion was as much literary as social.' * Peter J Smith, Times Higher Education Supplement *
This learned, readable and often entertaining book informs, challenges and stimulates in equal measure. -- Paul Dean, Summer Fields, Oxford * English Studies *

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