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Welcome to the book review section of the Shakespeare Fellowship site. Here you will find reviews of major recent works in Shakespearean studies, both orthodox and Oxfordian in their slant. Eventually we hope the archive will include reviews of many more major works in Shakespearean studies.
Richard Waugaman reviews Abraham Bronson Feldman's Hamlet Himself.
Warren Hope reviews James Shapiro's Contested Will.
Ramon Jiménez reviews Professor Michael Egan's new edition of the anonymous Elizabethan history play, Thomas of Woodstock, otherwise known as Richard II.1
The Truth Will Out, by Brenda James and Bill Rubinstein, reviewed by Ramon Jimenez.
This 1997 review of John Michell's book, Who Wrote Shakespeare, by Roger Stritmatter, is still relevant in 2005.
Ungentle Shakespeare (2001) by Katherine Duncan Jones. Reviewed by Ken Kaplan.
William Shakespeare: A Popular Life (2000) by Garry O'Conner. Reviewed by Richard Whalen.
Shakespeare In Fact (1994) by Irvin Matus. Reviewed by "Publius".
Shakespeare In Fact (1994) Reviewed by Richard Whalen.
The Genius of Shakespeare (1998) by Johnathan Bate. Reviewed by Richard Whalen.
An Anatomy of the Marprelate Controversy 1588-1596 (2001), by Elizabeth Appleton. Reviewed by Roger Stritmatter.
We are pleased to offer four new reviews of Professor Alan Nelson's new book, Monstrous Adversary: The Life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (Liverpool University Press, 2002).
Nelson's book, the result of almost ten years of archival research and writing, is without doubt the most important new work on the Shakespearean question to appear in 2003. Decisively hostile to the subject of his biography, Nelson argues that de Vere could not have been Shakespeare because he was both a scoundrel and a bad speller.
In "Do Oxford's Letters Spell Shakespeare?" (.pdf)from the Winter 2004 issue of Shakespeare Matters, Dialect coach and historical linguist K.C. Ligon refutes Nelson's arguments about spelling.
In "Nelson's New Oxford Biography," (.pdf) from the Fall 2003 issue of SM, independent scholar and writer Richard Whalen argues that Nelson "misunderstands the typical personality of a great genius," passing judgement on Oxford while failing to understand his real character as a literary genius and leading patron of Elizabethan letters.
In "Demonography 101: Alan Nelson's Monstrous Adversary," Peter R. Moore, writing originally for the Winter 2004 issue of the Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter, does for Nelson's historical scholarship what K.C. Ligon had already done for his use of linguistics: exposes his historical methodology as a form of postmodern hypocrisy.
Finally, in "Monstrous Animosity," (.pdf) Dr. Roger Stritmatter suggests that Nelson's jaundiced view of his subject requires him to suppress the actual purposes of his work (namely, to counter the proposition that Oxford was "Shakespeare"). The book thus proceeds from a kind of false consciousness about its object of study. "In place of a judicious scholarly critique of the Oxfordian case [the book] substitutes a sustained ad hominem attack on Oxford's character which bends or breaks every canon of fairness which might impede its single-minded pursuit of ideological conformity to orthodox belief."
Books on Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies
Kill all the Lawyers (1997?) by Daniel Kornstein. Reviewed by Roger Stritmatter.
Censorship and Interpretation (1984, 1992) by Anabelle Patterson. Reviewed by Roger Stritmatter.