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Trust the Coroner

John Bossy: Why Christopher Marlowe was probably not a spy, 14 December 2006

Christopher Marlowe: Poet and Spy 
by Park Honan.
Oxford, 421 pp., £25, October 2005, 0 19 818695 9
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... not writing his sonorous verse, he was spying, preaching atheism, fighting and getting murdered. Park Honan has done one of the two already, and now has done the other. Coming shortly after David Riggs’s solid, even too-solid The World of Christopher Marlowe, his Christopher Marlowe: Poet and Spy feels a little lightweight. He is probably right to say ...

Hoarder of Malt

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare, 7 January 1999

Shakespeare: A Life 
by Park Honan.
Oxford, 479 pp., £25, October 1998, 0 19 811792 2
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £11.99, December 1998, 0 7190 5425 7
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... weekend after 23 April, a day celebrated since the 18th century as Shakespeare’s Birthday. As Park Honan’s impressive new biography reminds us, the parish records for 1564 make it certain only that he was christened on 26 April, and our knowledge of contemporary church practice suggests that Shakespeare’s real birthday is just as likely to have ...

A Piece of Single Blessedness

John Burrows, 21 January 1988

Jane Austen: Her Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 452 pp., £16.95, October 1987, 0 297 79217 2
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... acquaintance. Those of Eliza de Feuillide and Fanny Knight (and the latter’s diaries), to which Park Honan draws attention, are of particular interest; and others like them may yet be found. The discovery of the play Sir Charles Grandison, or The Happy Man, the work of Jane Austen and her niece Anna, suggests that there may even yet be additions to the ...

Likeable Sage

Sheldon Rothblatt, 17 September 1981

Matthew Arnold: A Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 496 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 297 77824 2
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... He experienced the poverty, dirt and ugliness of great industrial towns. Through it all he grew. Honan relates how much of his personal growth was attributable to Fanny Lucy, how much she taught him about women and how to respect the feelings of others, to assimilate disappointment and tragedy into his life, even to appreciate music and painting. Only with ...

Enisled

John Sutherland: Matthew Arnold, 19 March 1998

A Gift Imprisoned: The Poetic Life of Matthew Arnold 
by Ian Hamilton.
Bloomsbury, 241 pp., £17.99, March 1998, 0 7475 3671 6
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... Matthew Arnold: A Critical Portrait in 1994. And there have been two cap-à-pie biographies: Park Honan’s in 1981 (with its provocative identification of ‘Marguerite’) and Nicholas Murray’s two years ago (with its no-nonsense put-down of Honan’s Marguerite thesis). Threading a way through this crowd of ...

Which play was performed at the Globe Theatre on 7 February 1601?

Blair Worden: A Play for Plotters, 10 July 2003

... certainly’ Shakespeare’s. Others are more confident still. Shakespeare’s recent biographers Park Honan and Katherine Duncan-Jones take it for granted that the play was his. Andrew 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 ...

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