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Shakespeare's Literary Lives
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Book description

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.


'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 Source: 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 Source: 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.’

Source: Translation, Appropriation and Performance

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