Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright into the Bard

3.73 avg rating
( 149 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780802715661: Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright into the Bard
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Becoming Shakespeare begins where most Shakespeare stories end―with his death in 1616―and relates the fascinating story of his unlikely transformation from provincial playwright to universal Bard. Unlike later literary giants, Shakespeare created no stir when he died. Though he'd once had a string of hit plays, he had been retired in the country for six years, and only his family, friends, and business partners seemed to care that he was gone. Within a few years he was nearly forgotten. And when London's theaters were shut down in 1642, he seemed destined for oblivion.

With the Restoration in 1660, though, the theaters were open once again, and Shakespeare began his long ascent: No longer merely one playwright among many, he became the transcendent genius at the heart of English culture. Fifty years after the Restoration scholars began taking him seriously. Fifty years after that he was considered England's greatest genius. And by 1800 he was practically divine.

Jack Lynch vividly chronicles Shakespeare's afterlife―from the revival of his plays to the decades when his work was co-opted and "improved" by politicians and other playwrights, and culminating with the "Bardolatry" of the Stratford celebration of Shakespeare's three-hundredth birthday in 1864. Becoming Shakespeare is not only essential reading for anyone intrigued by Shakespeare, but it also offers a consideration of the vagaries of fame.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Jack Lynch, a professor of English at Rutgers University, has been studying the curious afterlife of William Shakespeare for more than fifteen years. He is the editor of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary and Samuel Johnson's Insults. He lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

From Publishers Weekly:

It's easy to assume that William Shakespeare has always held his position at the top of the literary canon. But the truth is not that simple, as Lynch, a professor of English at Rutgers and longtime student of literary history, demonstrates. He ably chronicles how "in three hundred years, William Shakespeare the talented playwright and theatre shareholder had become Shakespeare the transcendent demigod," against whom no slight of literary criticism was too small not to be deemed heresy. Along the way, Shakespeare was all but forgotten; criticized for his sloppy, profane dramaturgy; rewritten, forged and bowdlerized (literally, by the eponymous Bowdler); hijacked as a spokesperson for political causes of all stripes; revered and, finally, unquestioningly glorified. Lynch tells the story of the personalities and politics that shaped both the reception of the Bard's works and the development of the theater in England between 1616, the year of Shakespeare's death, and 1864, his 300th birthday. Lynch writes fluidly about the Puritan aspirations that shut the English theaters after Queen Elizabeth's death, the Restoration and consequent revitalization of London's theatrical culture, the rise of celebrity culture and the spread of literacy that took Shakespeare off the stage and into the parlor and classroom. Illus. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780802716781: Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright into the Bard

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0802716784 ISBN 13:  9780802716781
Publisher: Walker Books, 2009
Softcover

9781845298234: BECOMING SHAKESPEARE: HOW A DEAD POET BECAME THE WORLD'S FOREMOST LITERARY GENIUS

Constable, 2008
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jack W. Lynch
Published by Walker & Company (2007)
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Walker & Company, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0802715664

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.95
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Jack Lynch
Published by Walker Books (2007)
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Walker Books, 2007. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0802715664

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 27.54
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Lynch, Jack
Published by Walker & Company, New York (2007)
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Jaystime
(Salem, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Walker & Company, New York, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 2007 New Book, New Unclipped jacket ($24.95), Stated: First U.S. Edition 2007, First Printing 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2, 306 clean tight unmarked unread pages, book has full black boards with gold embossed lettering on the spine, jacket is black with an illustration of Shakespeare and cream and red lettering. Seller Inventory # 005681

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.25
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Lynch, Jack
Published by Walker Books (2007)
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Walker Books, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110802715664

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 52.83
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Jack LYNCH.
Published by Walker Books, New York (2007)
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
book&volume
(Birregurra, VIC, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Walker Books, New York, 2007. Hardback/Cloth. Condition: New. 306pp Illustrated. [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery] Becoming Shakespeare begins where most Shakespeare stories end - with his death in 1616 and relates the fascinating story of his unlikely transformation from provincial playwright to universal Bard. Unlike later literary giants, Shakespeare created no stir when he died. Though he'd once had a string of hit plays, he had been retired in the country for six years, and only his family, friends, and business partners seemed to care that he was gone. Within a few years he was nearly forgotten. And when London's theatres were shut down in 1642, he seemed destined for oblivion. With the Restoration in 1660, though, the theatres were open once again, and Shakespeare began his long ascent: No longer merely one playwright among many, he became the transcendent genius at the heart of English culture. Fifty years after the Restoration scholars began taking him seriously. Fifty years after that he was considered England's greatest genius. And by 1800 he was practically divine. Jack Lynch vividly chronicles Shakespeare's afterlife - from the revival of his plays to the decades when his work was co-opted and improved by politicians and other playwrights, and culminating with the Bardolatry - the Stratford celebration of Shakespeare's 300th birthday in 1864. Becoming Shakespeare is not only essential reading for anyone intrigued by Shakespeare, but it also offers a consideration of the vagaries of fame. Seller Inventory # 4842

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 29.28
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 25.00
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Jack Lynch
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0802715664

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 78.51
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Jack Lynch
Published by Walker Books (2007)
ISBN 10: 0802715664 ISBN 13: 9780802715661
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Walker Books, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0802715664n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 90.80
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds