James Humes's portrait is a flesh-and-blood picture of William Shakespeare, who came from Stratford to seek his fame and fortune in the theater world of London in pursuit of his dream--to return to Stratford as a gentleman and a country squire. Too many scholars have approached Shakespeare as if he were an ethereal or elusive poet or pontifical literary titan. The magnificence of his legacy obscures the man. Like the weaver, baker, and tailor of his hometown of Stratford, he had a craft--the skill of fashioning scripts to meet the popular tastes of his day. He had respect for artistic craft, but saw it also as the means to a greater end--that of advancement and status.
Shakespeare chose London and the theater as his milieu. His theater work in London as an actor, director, and playwright threw him into the vortex of the capital city's political and social life. His patron, Southampton, drew him to the cause of Essex, and his observations as a ringside witness to the court power struggles and as an indirect participant shaped his leanings as a royalist, high Anglican (anti-Puritan), and Tory--beliefs that permeated his plays. Shakespeare's training as an actor and his lack of a university education worked to his advantage. He better understood the popular tastes and thereby knew what would please audiences. Central to Humes's interpretation of the life of Shakespeare is his conviction that Shakespeare was not an artist disdainful of profit or social advancement, Shakespeare, in Humes's vision, never lost sight of his central goal--to become a gentleman and a country squire.
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He is good on Shakespeare's conservative political philosophy, and he writes with such enthusiasm for his subject that one cannot help but enjoy it.About the Author:
JAMES C. HUMES is Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School--Fels Center of Government. He is an accomplished professional speaker, a speechwriter for three presidents, an actor, a playwright, and an author. Among his books are My Fellow Americans (Praeger, 1992), Churchill, Instant Eloquence, The Sir Winston Method, and The Benjamin Franklin Factor. He was Editorial Advisor for President Ford's memoirs, A Time to Heal. He has written and performed two plays, Blood, Sweat, and Tears (a one-man Churchill show) produced by PBS in 1985, and What's Happening at the Convention, Dr. Franklin? for the U.S. Constitution Bicentennial Commission in 1987.
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Book Description Praeger Pub., 1993. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 82688