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Little is known about Ann Hathaway, the wife of England's greatest playwright; a great deal, none of it complimentary, has been assumed. The omission of her name from Shakespeare's will has been interpreted as evidence that she was nothing more than an unfortunate mistake from which Shakespeare did well to distance himself.

While Shakespeare is above all the poet of marriage—repeatedly in his plays, constant wives redeem unjust and deluded husbands—scholars persist in positing the worst about the writer's own spouse. In Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer boldly breaks new ground, combining literary-historical techniques with documentary evidence about life in Stratford, to reset the story of Shakespeare's marriage in its social context. With deep insight and intelligence, she offers daring and thoughtful new theories about the farmer's daughter who married England's greatest poet, painting a vivid portrait of a remarkable woman.

A passionate and perceptive work of first-rate scholarship that reclaims this maligned figure from generations of scholarly neglect and misogyny, Shakespeare's Wife poses bold questions and opens new fields of investigation and research.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061847769
List price: $9.86
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I didn't finish it because it just was not interesting. It seems like everything Germaine Greer is trying to say about Ann Hathaway is based on assumptions and no facts. And if it -is- based on facts, she doesn't do a good job of telling the reader that.This would probably be a good read for someone who wants an indepth look at what might've been the life of a wife back in the late 1500s, but not someone who is expecting to learn about Shakespeare's wife.more
With "Shakespeare's Wife", Germaine Greer has written an exhaustive women’s history text on life in Stratford during the 16th and 17th centuries. Unfortunately for its readers, much information pertaining to the actual life of Shakespeare’s wife is purely speculative given the lack of historical documents that exist relating to Anne Hathaway. I would suggest one read this book if they are interested in social history. There is much information contained about medical practices, social norms, and religious politics of Elizabethan and Stuart England. There are also invaluable insights given into the lives of other residents of Stratford who have otherwise been forgotten in history. Greer does an excellent job of writing about this time period, and, most importantly, Greer cites all of her sources (this is a rarity amongst most biographical authors).As previously stated, there is actually very little about Anne Hathaway in this book. We do learn brief tidbits about her childhood, her relatives, her marriage, and death. Most of Greer’s other information comes from analyses of primary sources not relating to Hathaway (such as tax records and marriage records), secondary sources (in which Greer vehemently defends Hathaway from her critics) and Shakespeare’s works (“The Merry Wives of Windsor” is one she uses predominantly throughout the text). As a reader, I intensely disliked when Greer attempted to approach the emotional life of Hathaway. It felt that this was is all speculation, and that such a practice is better kept for historical novels.This book is one that I’m glad that I’ve read, but I don’t think I’ll read again any time soon.more
Greer has studied the day to day life of Shakespeare's wife and co. with a finetoothcomb. We get a very different picture of WS. She has no qualms about taking on some of the hagiographers who haven't done their homework in the way that she has done it. A must read for any students of Avon's Swan.more
So far so good.. I'm only about half way in but the way Greer uses historical evidence, and literary review to reconstruct the life of Ann Hathaway is stellar. This new approach free from the bias of the great bard's trumpeters, gives us a fresh and understanding look at the woman that loved and lived with the man known to us as Shakespeare.more
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Reviews

I didn't finish it because it just was not interesting. It seems like everything Germaine Greer is trying to say about Ann Hathaway is based on assumptions and no facts. And if it -is- based on facts, she doesn't do a good job of telling the reader that.This would probably be a good read for someone who wants an indepth look at what might've been the life of a wife back in the late 1500s, but not someone who is expecting to learn about Shakespeare's wife.more
With "Shakespeare's Wife", Germaine Greer has written an exhaustive women’s history text on life in Stratford during the 16th and 17th centuries. Unfortunately for its readers, much information pertaining to the actual life of Shakespeare’s wife is purely speculative given the lack of historical documents that exist relating to Anne Hathaway. I would suggest one read this book if they are interested in social history. There is much information contained about medical practices, social norms, and religious politics of Elizabethan and Stuart England. There are also invaluable insights given into the lives of other residents of Stratford who have otherwise been forgotten in history. Greer does an excellent job of writing about this time period, and, most importantly, Greer cites all of her sources (this is a rarity amongst most biographical authors).As previously stated, there is actually very little about Anne Hathaway in this book. We do learn brief tidbits about her childhood, her relatives, her marriage, and death. Most of Greer’s other information comes from analyses of primary sources not relating to Hathaway (such as tax records and marriage records), secondary sources (in which Greer vehemently defends Hathaway from her critics) and Shakespeare’s works (“The Merry Wives of Windsor” is one she uses predominantly throughout the text). As a reader, I intensely disliked when Greer attempted to approach the emotional life of Hathaway. It felt that this was is all speculation, and that such a practice is better kept for historical novels.This book is one that I’m glad that I’ve read, but I don’t think I’ll read again any time soon.more
Greer has studied the day to day life of Shakespeare's wife and co. with a finetoothcomb. We get a very different picture of WS. She has no qualms about taking on some of the hagiographers who haven't done their homework in the way that she has done it. A must read for any students of Avon's Swan.more
So far so good.. I'm only about half way in but the way Greer uses historical evidence, and literary review to reconstruct the life of Ann Hathaway is stellar. This new approach free from the bias of the great bard's trumpeters, gives us a fresh and understanding look at the woman that loved and lived with the man known to us as Shakespeare.more
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