As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the highlights of our publishing year. One such highlight, without doubt, has to be Graham Holderness’s marvellous Nine Lives of William Shakespeare, which was named 'Book of the Week' by the Times Higher Education. Critics agree that it’s an outstanding work of Shakespeare scholarship that engages with the debates surrounding his life. Its unique approach – offering nine possible short 'lives' of Shakespeare, each based on specific facts and traditions – sets it apart from other studies and breathes new life into well-trodden ground.
Beautifully presented in hardback with a dust jacket, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare is the ideal gift for the family bookworm or a well-read friend!
I am delighted to announce that we are giving away two signed copies to celebrate the excellent reviews that the book has received since its publication!
To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Nine Lives' by Wednesday 14th December.
Now take a look at some of the critical acclaim:
‘Graham Holderness knows the power of the Shakespeare myth and its fictions… in this volume, he offers a twist… Recognising the flimsy factual basis for Shakespeare biography, he draws on wit and wordplay to flesh out a fiction more palatable than the po-faced fantasies of the scholarly biographers. The nine Shakespeares on show here — writer, player, butcher boy, businessman, husband, friend, lover, Catholic and portrait — are each lovingly dissected before being painstakingly reassembled.’ Times Higher Education
‘What is this mad desire to unmask and debag William Shakespeare? … the eminent Graham Holderness explains [all] in his expert survey of the verifiable historical facts’ The Daily Mail
‘Book of the Week’ on ReadySteadyBook
‘As a biographical study, this is fascinating for the way in which it looks at possible interpretations of a long-bygone life… any devotee of the Bard, or even of Tudor social history, will certainly find much to savour here.’ The Bookbag
‘Required reading for anyone interested in Shakespeare’s life or in how literary biography gets written. There’s no better place to turn for distinguishing facts and traditions from more imaginative accounts of how Shakespeare became Shakespeare. Graham Holderness is a terrific guide and a talented writer.’ James Shapiro, author of 1599 and Professor of English at Columbia University, USA
‘Like Prospero, Graham Holderness has conjured up a world — inks and quill pens, lost manuscripts, sheep-shearing fairs, courtship rituals, seventeenth-century acting techniques, religious rites, business dealings. To name a few. There have of course been hundreds of biographies of William Shakespeare down the centuries, but none so breathtakingly nimble and adroit as this one. Shakespeare has long been a battleground between what can be historically verified ( not much ) and what in the end is simply speculation ( of which there has been a very great deal ). Holderness — who is saturated in his subject — disentangles fact from fiction, but then starts to weave beautiful new tapestries of his own. This is the best and most enjoyably imaginative book on Shakespeare since Anthony Burgess' Nothing Like the Sun — high praise, as Burgess' only rival was the chapter about Shakespeare in James Joyce's Ulysses. Were he to bound back from beyond the grave, this is the volume Shakespeare himself would most love reading.’ Roger Lewis, author of The Life & Death of Peter Sellers and Seasonal Suicide Notes
Don't forget to enter by Wednesday 14th December – the winners will be picked at random from a hat by one of my lovely colleagues and announced the same day.
Best of luck!