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Gary Taylor

7 January 1993
Shakespeare: The Later Years 
by Russell Fraser.
Columbia, 380 pp., $35, April 1992, 0 231 06766 6
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Shakespeare: His Life, Work and Era 
by Dennis Kay.
Sidgwick, 368 pp., £20, May 1992, 0 283 99878 4
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William Shakespeare: The Anatomy of an Enigma 
by Peter Razzell.
Caliban, 188 pp., May 1992, 1 85066 010 7
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Politics, Plague and Shakespeare’s Theatre: The Stuart Years 
by Leeds Barroll.
Cornell, 249 pp., £20.80, January 1992, 0 8014 2479 8
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Shakespeare Verbatim: The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus 
by Margreta de Grazia.
Oxford, 244 pp., £30, February 1991, 0 19 811778 7
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... works of Shakespeare in the context of their age’. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. Mostly, though, I don’t care, because, being an introduction, this book does not aspire to discovery. Barroll, de Grazia, and Razzell, by contrast, all say something genuinely new. None is a biographer; none offers the pleasures of narrative, or the illusion of a whole life, or the interpretive ...

Rigging and Bending

Simon Adams: James VI & I

9 October 2003
The Cradle King: A Life of James VI & I 
by Alan Stewart.
Chatto, 438 pp., £20, February 2003, 0 7011 6984 2
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... infancy. Stewart’s portrait of Anne is the traditional one: a marginal figure, immature and self-indulgent. However, a new and more substantial Anne is beginning to emerge, thanks to the work of LeedsBarroll and Maureen Meikle. Her discreet conversion to Catholicism in the years before 1603, for example, was the basis of the Anglo-Spanish marriage diplomacy that dominated James’s English reign ...

Lord Have Mercy

James Shapiro: Plague Writing

31 March 2011
Plague Writing in Early Modern England 
by Ernest Gilman.
Chicago, 295 pp., £24, June 2009, 978 0 226 29409 4
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... battered London for the next eight years. Whenever deaths from plague in London rose above 30 a week – the number was later raised to 40 – the theatres were ordered shut, with the result (as LeedsBarroll showed in his groundbreaking Politics, Plague and Shakespeare’s Theatre) that from 1603 to 1610 public playhouses were probably closed two-thirds of the time. Biographers, notably Katherine ...
10 July 2003
... Gurr, in editing Richard II, ‘assumes’ that it was, and the same assumption is made by the editors of the Oxford Complete Works of Shakespeare and the editor of the new Arden edition of the play. LeedsBarroll, who has looked harder at the episode than anyone else and has perceptively exposed a number of misconceptions about it, suspends his spirit of inquiry in stating that the play was ...

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