Shakespeare Now!

By | April 1, 2011

Right, we’re rapidly heading into the weekend, so for anyone looking for some literary-themed reading, I thought I’d make some suggestions. Last month, we published two new titles in our flagship Shakespeare Now! series that I most definitely recommend.

The two new books in the series share a common desire: to put scholarship directly back in touch with the living experience of encountering Shakespeare’s art. The first book is The Life in the Sonnets, written by David Fuller, who is not only Professor Emeritus at the University of Durham, UK but also a trained musicologist and orator. As you might expect with this background, Professor Fuller is keen to get readers to rediscover an emotional engagement with Shakespeare’s verse, something that has long been unfashionable in literary scholarship. The author is also a strong advocate of the importance of reading the sonnets aloud and, in fact, you can hear him do so in the recordings we have provided online. You can get access to those recordings, as well as further details about the book, here or check out the free preview by clicking on the jacket above.

An equally personal and passionate engagement is provided by Philippa Kelly’s The King and I. In this book, Kelly, currently Resident Dramaturg at the California Shakespeare Theater, explores her own personal relationship with King Lear – perhaps Shakespeare’s most profound tragedy – and uses this relationship to tell the story of her native Australia. It’s a frequently moving book and one that brings to vivid life the ways in which Shakespeare remains profoundly relevant to us all even over 400 years after his time. We’ve had some extraordinary responses from those who have read the book – I don’t have space to include them here but I’ll put them up next week. In the meantime, you can take a look at a free preview by clicking the jacket above or you can read more about the book here.

Happy reading!

Senior Editor,
Continuum Literary Studies

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