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Shakespeare's Literary Lives
The Author as Character in Fiction and Film


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  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107565210

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About the Authors
  • This is an entertaining account of Shakespeare's afterlives in fiction. Paul Franssen offers the first sustained analysis of stories and films that involve the character of Shakespeare. Taking a broad international and historical perspective, he shows how fictions about Shakespeare help us understand what he meant to a certain age, nation, or author, and how they have become a vital aspect of the Shakespeare industry. Appearing sometimes as a ghost or time-traveller, fictional Shakespeares have been made to speak to many issues, such as the French Revolution, the Irish conflict, colonialism, the Anglo-American relationship, sexual orientation, race and class. Written in an accessible style, this book will appeal to advanced students as well as academic researchers in Shakespeare studies, film and cultural studies, literary reception and creative writing.

    • Proposes a new approach to biographical fiction about Shakespeare's life
    • Takes an international approach, going beyond Anglophone traditions
    • Written in an accessible style appealing to a broad readership
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    • Honourable Mention, 2017 PROSE Award for Literature

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Franssen's meticulous scholarship and his impressive pan-European reach will immediately establish this book as the most important study of Shakespeare's afterlife as a character since Schoenbaum's Shakespeare's Lives and O'Sullivan's Shakespeare's Other Lives. It will be as invaluable as a reference work as it will be fascinating to anyone studying the international reception of the Shakespeare canon and his posthumous personal appearances in drama, poetry and fiction.' Michael Dobson, University of Birmingham

    'Paul Franssen's Shakespeare's Literary Lives is an enormous pleasure to read and offers a key contribution to Shakespeare studies by drawing together an impressive range of research enquiries across European and North American scholarship. One of its most striking features, in evidence throughout, is its readability for both the informed reader and the general public.' Andrew Hiscock, Modern Language Review

    'Paul Franssen's fascinating and astonishingly wide-ranging study often suggests that Shakespeare's (supposed) 'life' has been even more stimulating to the imagination than his own plays and poems. … In all, this is a wonderful and richly interesting study which deserves to be in all academic libraries …' Katherine Duncan-Jones, Archiv

    '[This] book covers a wide terrain, provides invaluable insights into the appropriations of Shakespeare and the underlying ideological assumptions, not just in the Anglophone world, but also in Continental Europe … It is telling that I felt myself wanting to read on at the end, a tribute not just to the topic of the book, but also to the accessible style it was written in.' Translation, Appropriation and Performance

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107565210
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Shakespeare's ghosts
    2. William the Conqueror
    3. Stratford to London
    4. Wilde imaginings
    5. Faith
    6. Travels
    7. Not of an age

  • Author

    Paul Franssen, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Paul Franssen teaches English Literature at the University of Utrecht. He has co-edited several volumes, including The Author as Character (with A. J. Hoenselaars, 1999), Shakespeare and War (with Ros King, 2008) and Shakespeare and European Politics (with Dirk Delabastita and Jozef de Vos, 2008). He has also published numerous articles on Shakespeare and other topics in journals, including Critical Survey, the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Shakespeare Survey and Cahiers Elisabéthains.


    • Honourable Mention, 2017 PROSE Award for Literature

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