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Michael Dobson

18 November 1993
‘Hamlet’ versus ‘Lear’: Cultural Politics and Shakespeare’s Art 
by R.A. Foakes.
Cambridge, 262 pp., £30, March 1993, 0 521 34292 9
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Appropriating Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Quarrels 
by Brian​ Vickers.
Yale, 508 pp., £35, April 1993, 0 300 05415 7
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Shakespeare, Poet and Citizen 
by Victor Kieran.
Verso, 261 pp., £18.95, March 1993, 0 86091 392 9
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... to shoe A troop of horse with felt: I’ll put’t in proof; And when I have stol’n upon these sons-in-law. Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill! R.A.Foakes and Brian Vickers, both approaching retirement after reigning for nearly thirty years in the upper reaches of Shakespeare studies, aren’t feeling entirely charitable towards their heirs either ...
29 September 1988
The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. V: Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature 
edited by R.A. Foakes.
Princeton/Routledge, 604 pp., £55, December 1987, 0 691 09872 7
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... in 1856. The book that was readily available, and which did exert enormous influence in the 19th century, was Hazlitt’s Characters of Shakespear’s Plays. Now the situation is reversed: R.A.Foakes has produced as full a reconstruction of Coleridge’s Shakespearean criticism as will ever be possible, while Hazlitt’s book has been out of print for many years. More than anything else, it has ...

Shakespeares

David Norbrook

18 July 1985
Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism 
edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield.
Manchester, 244 pp., £19.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1752 1
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Alternative Shakespeares 
edited by John Drakakis.
Methuen, 252 pp., £10.50, July 1985, 0 416 36850 6
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Shakespeare and Others 
by S. Schoenbaum.
Scolar, 285 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 85967 691 9
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Illustrations of the English Stage 1580-1642 
by R.A. Foakes.
Scolar, 180 pp., £35, February 1985, 0 85967 684 6
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £17.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1743 2
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... effect is more often simply to depoliticise literary studies altogether. Sinfield is so disenchanted with literary education that he can offer only purely negative reasons why anyone should want to read or teach Shakespeare: the Right do it so the Left must do it too. Unfortunately this rationale may be a shaky one given that some sections of the Right are starting to attack literary education as ...

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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... 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 been 21 or 22 April. But it has become obvious that if the National Poet wasn’t born on St George’s Day it can only have been through an oversight which we have ...

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