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Toe-Lining

Frank Kermode

22 January 1998
Shakespeare’s Troy: Drama, Politics and the Translation of Empire 
by Heather James.
Cambridge, 283 pp., £37.50, December 1997, 0 521 59223 2
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... This is the 22nd volume in the series Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture. All the contributors are American, as are the General Editor, StephenOrgel, and three out of five members of the editorial board. Orgel, a respected authority on the Jacobean court masque, is also interested in such historical curiosities as Renaissance cross-dressing and ...

Patrons

Peter Burke

15 October 1987
Patronage, Art and Society in Renaissance Italy 
edited by F.W. Kent and Patricia Simons.
Oxford/Humanities Research Centre, 331 pp., £35, June 1987, 0 19 821978 4
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Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City 
by Charles Mack.
Cornell, 250 pp., $43.95, June 1987, 9780801416996
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Piety and Patronage in Renaissance Venice: Bellini, Titian and the Franciscans 
by Rona Goffen.
Yale, 285 pp., £30, July 1986, 0 300 03455 5
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Venetian Humanism in an Age of Patrician Dominance 
by Margaret King.
Princeton, 524 pp., £42.90, April 1986, 0 691 05465 7
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The Venetian Patriciate: Reality versus Myth 
by Donald Queller.
Illinois, 386 pp., $29.95, September 1986, 0 252 01144 9
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Tradesman and Traders: The World of the Guilds in Venice and Europe, c.1250-c.1650 
by Richard MacKenney.
Croom Helm, 289 pp., £35, January 1987, 0 7099 1763 5
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Florence, Rome and the Origins of the Renaissance 
by George Holmes.
Oxford, 273 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 19 822576 8
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From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in 15th and 6th-Century Europe 
by Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine.
Duckworth, 224 pp., £29.95, January 1987, 0 7156 2100 9
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Renaissance and Revolt: Essays in the Intellectual and Social History of Early Modern France 
by J.H.M. Salmon.
Cambridge, 306 pp., £30, June 1987, 0 521 32769 5
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... of a large literature on art patronage, the question received few direct answers till the publication in 1981 of a book focused on England: Patronage in the Renaissance, edited by Guy Lytle and StephenOrgel. Taking their cue from Lytle and Orgel, F.W. Kent and Patricia Simons have turned the proceedings of a conference held in Melbourne in 1983 into a valuable volume of essays on patronage in ...

And That Rug!

Michael Dobson: Images of Shakespeare

6 November 2003
Shakespeare’s Face: The Story behind the Newly Discovered Portrait 
by Stephanie Nolen.
Piatkus, 365 pp., £18.99, March 2003, 0 7499 2391 1
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Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions 
by Stephen Orgel.
Palgrave, 172 pp., £25, August 2003, 1 4039 1177 0
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Shakespeare in Art 
by Jane Martineau et al.
Merrell, 256 pp., £29.95, September 2003, 1 85894 229 2
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In Search of Shakespeare 
by Michael Wood.
BBC, 352 pp., £20, May 2003, 9780563534778
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... engraving of Scheemakers’s statue on the old £20 note – and the only one with any bohemian dash, the Chandos, with its fetching gold earring, probably isn’t a picture of Shakespeare at all. As StephenOrgel points out in his excellent new collection of essays, Imagining Shakespeare, the sitter for the Chandos portrait has unambiguously black hair, while the Janssen bust, commissioned and ...

Mr Who He?

Stephen Orgel: Shakespeare’s Poems

8 August 2002
The Complete Sonnets and Poems 
by William Shakespeare, edited by Colin Burrow.
Oxford, 750 pp., £65, February 2002, 9780198184317
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... we wouldn’t do cuts both ways, and as our society grows more sexually open, so inevitably does Shakespeare. What might be considered the enabling document for contemporary editorial practice was Stephen Booth’s remarkable Essay on Shakespeare’s Sonnets, published in 1969. This articulated, brilliantly, a poetics of indeterminacy as a way of reading the sonnets, arguing that the poems are ...

Cold Front in Arden

Michael Dobson

31 October 1996
Reading Shakespeare Historically 
by Lisa Jardine.
Routledge, 207 pp., £40, April 1996, 0 415 13490 0
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Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre 
by Louis Montrose.
Chicago, 228 pp., £39.95, May 1996, 0 226 53482 0
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Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context 
by Patricia Parker.
Chicago, 392 pp., £41.50, April 1996, 0 226 64584 3
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Impersonations: Gender and Performance in Shakespear’s England 
by Stephen Orgel.
Cambridge, 179 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 521 56842 0
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... boy actor, who used to seem an embarrassing minor historical detail of the Shakespearean theatre but is rapidly coming to be understood as the key to its entire meaning. This is one reason why StephenOrgel’s Impersonations, which has grown out of his 1989 article, ‘Nobody’s Perfect, or, Why Did the English Stage Take Boys for Women?’, seems the most substantial and the most important of ...
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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... vehicles for the suppression of every generous principle of liberty,’ and ‘public exhibitions were made use of as vehicles of fulsome adulation to tyranny and oppression.’ This sounds like StephenOrgel or Stephen Greenblatt arguing that Renaissance plays – especially court-masque-influenced ones such as The Tempest – were bound up with the display and ‘inscription’ of monarchical ...

Fault-Finders

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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... It runs as follows: I understand Shakespeare; you interpret Shakespeare; they appropriate Shakespeare. ‘They’, for Vickers, are an impressively varied range of flourishing Shakespeareans – from Stephen Greenblatt to Stanley Cavell, Lynda Boose to Robert Weimann – who are catalogued and castigated, chapter by chapter, under the usual demonised labels: as deconstructionists, New Historicists ...
18 August 1994
Essays, Mainly Shakespearean 
by Anne Barton.
Cambridge, 386 pp., £40, March 1994, 0 521 40444 4
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English Comedy 
edited by Michael Cordner, Peter Holland and John Kerrigan.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £35, March 1994, 0 521 41917 4
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... publication of this book marked by an accompanying Festschrift – a volume of essays on comedy by friends and colleagues of Professor Barton, ranging from American luminaries like Jonas Barish and StephenOrgel to newcomers like Richard Rowland (who contributes a thumpingly good piece on Heywood). Shakespeare is still the most challenging object in the literary canon, the most generous with meaning ...
5 January 1989
Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England 
by Stephen​ Greenblatt.
Oxford, 205 pp., £22.50, April 1988, 0 19 812980 7
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Representing the English Renaissance 
edited by Stephen​ Greenblatt.
California, 372 pp., $42, February 1988, 0 520 06129 2
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... Eighties. To a historian like myself this trend is obviously encouraging. Indeed, for a historian the problem is not so much to explain the rise of the so-called ‘New Historicism’ associated with Stephen Greenblatt and his friends and followers, as to account for the hostile reactions to it. Why should it be considered subversive to replace literary texts in their historical contexts? Is the movement ...

State Theatre

Peter Burke

22 January 1987
The Rome of Alexander VII: 1655-1667 
by Richard Krautheimer.
Princeton, 199 pp., £16.80, November 1985, 9780691040325
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Firearms and Fortifications: Military Architecture and Siege Warfare in 16th-century Siena 
by Simon Pepper and Nicholas Adams.
Chicago, 245 pp., £21.25, October 1986, 0 226 65534 2
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... to settle; but what about the West? More than one monarchy in 17th-century Europe might usefully be regarded as a theatre state, from the England of the early Stuarts (especially as analysed by StephenOrgel), to the Spain of Philip IV and the France of Louis XIV (at least after his permanent move to Versailles), but the Papacy has the best claim of all. Leaving aside such possibly more superficial ...

Posthumous Gentleman

Michael Dobson: Kit Marlowe’s Schooldays

19 August 2004
The World of Christopher Marlowe 
by David Riggs.
Faber, 411 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 571 22159 9
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Christopher Marlowe and Richard Baines: Journeys through the Elizabethan Underground 
by Roy Kendall.
Fairleigh Dickinson, 453 pp., $75, January 2004, 0 8386 3974 7
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Tamburlaine Must Die 
by Louise Welsh.
Canongate, 149 pp., £9.99, July 2004, 1 84195 532 9
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History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe 
by Rodney Bolt.
HarperCollins, 388 pp., £17.99, July 2004, 0 00 712123 7
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... note than Kuriyama, he still wants to preserve Marlowe’s reputation as a transgressive arch-heretic and sexual dissident. This reputation has recently been attacked by Riggs’s Stanford colleague StephenOrgel in a fine essay called ‘Tobacco and Boys: How Queer Was Marlowe?’ (in The Authentic Shakespeare, 2002). Orgel points out that with the exception of his entirely heterosexual translation of ...

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