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Players: The Mysterious Identity of William…
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Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare (2005. Auflage)

von Bertram Fields

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1403158,092 (3.56)4
For centuries scholars have debated the true identity of the author of the magnificent body of poems and plays attributed to William Shakespeare. The majority of academics and other "Shakespeare authorities" have accepted the idea that the author was indeed one William Shakspere, the historical figure who hailed from Stratford-upon-Avon, acted on the London stage, and co-owned a successful theater company. And yet many credible voices -- including Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Benjamin Disraeli, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Walt Whitman -- have challenged the conventional wisdom, casting irresolvable doubts on the Stratford man and proposing alternatives from rival playwrights Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe to Queen Elizabeth herself. Now, in this provocative and convincing new book, historian and attorney Bertram Fields reexamines the evidence and presents a stunning, and highly plausible, new theory of the case -- an unconventional approach that will change, once and for all, how we think about the question, "Who was Shakespeare?" With an attorney's mastery of four centuries of evidence and argument, Fields revisits all the critical facts and unanswered questions. With thirty-six plays, two long narrative poems, and 154 sonnets to his name, why did Shakespeare leave behind not a single word of prose or poetry in his own hand? Is it really possible that the Stratford man -- who had a grade school education at best -- possessed the depth and scope of knowledge reflected in the work? Shakespeare the author used Latin and Greek classical works with familiarity and ease, and drew upon Italian and French works not yet translated into English. Was there a single man in the English theater with such breadth and range of knowledge -- a man who also knew the etiquette and practices of nobility, the workings of the law, and the tactics of the military and navy? Is it possible that any culture had produced a figure with both the poet's lofty ideals and empathetic humanity, and the streetwise, boisterous theatrical sense of the crowd-pleasing playwright?' Or -- as Fields asks in his tantalizing conclusion -- was this not one man at all, but a magnificent collaboration between two very different men, a partnership born in the roiling culture of Elizabethan England, and protected for centuries by the greatest conspiracy in literary history? Blending biography and historical investigation with vibrant scholarship and storytelling, Players revolutionizes our understanding of the greatest writer -- or writers -- in our history.… (mehr)
Mitglied:pinkparkagirl
Titel:Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare
Autoren:Bertram Fields
Info:Harper (2005), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 320 pages
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Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare von Bertram Fields

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Who was Shakespeare really? The debate about whether the man from Stratford truly wrote the works attributed to the Bard has raged for centuries. In this work Fields seeks to objectively present the evidence for and against each of the candidates.

The author is a lawyer, and the legal style was quite blatant to me after my first semester of legal education. This was structured very like the memos I'm supposed to be writing. Fields does a good job of presenting the evidence objectively and fairly representing the many theories surrounding the author. Being Stratfordian (both because I don't go in for the conspiracy theories surrounding most of the other candidates and because I don't want to lose the romantic idea of 'Shakespeare in Love') I had never paid much attention to the cases for many of the other candidates. I learned a lot without having to slog through various dogmatic books. He did say some rather unpleasant things about Kit Marlowe (who is severely underrated), but it didn't rise to the obnoxious level of Greenblatt, so I was ok.

Actually, the most engaging part of the book is the description of the historical context in the beginning. The least interesting (and most unnecessarily complicated) is his theory presented at the end. I felt like Fields dwelled on the variants in spelling of the Stratford actors name and that of the playwright FAR too much given the fluidity of spelling during the time in question. Harping about whether or not the actor pronounced himself with a long or a short 'a' as some sort of evidence that they were different people grew tiresome very quickly. And I certainly don't see why he quoted FREUD of all people in support of Oxford as Shakespeare. (Seriously, Freud? The man was clearly delusional.) But it was a good read, though best broken down over a few days. It can grow tedious if taken in too large doses. ( )
  Caramellunacy | Feb 14, 2008 |
Everyone should read this to see what the stratfordians and the anti-strats have been arguing about all these years, then decide for yourself who and what to believe.

Read the Full Review here: http://www.epinions.com/content_195061780100 ( )
  jc_hall | Mar 7, 2007 |
This book lays out the arguments for various authorships very objectively. Author’s analysis of some of the plays is way off base, but this is not a book you would read when doing research on Shakespeare’s work. It fact, you will it no help at all in the area.. It is presented in very straight forward lawyer like manner separating the 'facts' taken for granted from the real actual know facts about Shakespeare's life. This is what makes it so valuable for research on the authorship question. ( )
  Cynfrank | Jan 4, 2007 |
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For centuries scholars have debated the true identity of the author of the magnificent body of poems and plays attributed to William Shakespeare. The majority of academics and other "Shakespeare authorities" have accepted the idea that the author was indeed one William Shakspere, the historical figure who hailed from Stratford-upon-Avon, acted on the London stage, and co-owned a successful theater company. And yet many credible voices -- including Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Benjamin Disraeli, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Walt Whitman -- have challenged the conventional wisdom, casting irresolvable doubts on the Stratford man and proposing alternatives from rival playwrights Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe to Queen Elizabeth herself. Now, in this provocative and convincing new book, historian and attorney Bertram Fields reexamines the evidence and presents a stunning, and highly plausible, new theory of the case -- an unconventional approach that will change, once and for all, how we think about the question, "Who was Shakespeare?" With an attorney's mastery of four centuries of evidence and argument, Fields revisits all the critical facts and unanswered questions. With thirty-six plays, two long narrative poems, and 154 sonnets to his name, why did Shakespeare leave behind not a single word of prose or poetry in his own hand? Is it really possible that the Stratford man -- who had a grade school education at best -- possessed the depth and scope of knowledge reflected in the work? Shakespeare the author used Latin and Greek classical works with familiarity and ease, and drew upon Italian and French works not yet translated into English. Was there a single man in the English theater with such breadth and range of knowledge -- a man who also knew the etiquette and practices of nobility, the workings of the law, and the tactics of the military and navy? Is it possible that any culture had produced a figure with both the poet's lofty ideals and empathetic humanity, and the streetwise, boisterous theatrical sense of the crowd-pleasing playwright?' Or -- as Fields asks in his tantalizing conclusion -- was this not one man at all, but a magnificent collaboration between two very different men, a partnership born in the roiling culture of Elizabethan England, and protected for centuries by the greatest conspiracy in literary history? Blending biography and historical investigation with vibrant scholarship and storytelling, Players revolutionizes our understanding of the greatest writer -- or writers -- in our history.

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