Saturday, 31 January 2009
Shakespeare - AL Rowse and cutting edge language
The first biography of Shakespeare written by an historian.
The significance of this shines from the very first page as the reader is lead into the detail of life in Stratford. Rowse serves up the evidence he has unearthed of the financial and other dealings of the Shakespeare family and their circle. It has a flavour of archeology as the facts are presented and the reader is invited to help find into which sort of pattern they might fit.
The most exciting observation I have read so far is about the newness of language. We read Shakespeare and the King James Bible and weary sometimes at their antiquity. Wrong, wrong, wrong. These books were cutting edge of the new English language, quite possibly shocking but definitely the sort of thing bright young men and women would get very excited about.
This is the swinging sixties of the sixteen century