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How to Write a Biography of Shakespeare | Early Modern and Open Access

By July 3, 2016 No Comments

This is part of a bi-weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.


David Ellis,  “How to Write a Biography of Shakespeare, Memoria di Shakespeare: A Journal of Shakespearean Studies 2 (2015): 25-44.


The essay is a slightly modified version of the opening of the author’s book, The Truth about William Shakespeare: Fact, Fiction and Modern Biographies (2012), reprinted here by permission of Edinburgh University Press. In these introductory chapters the types of evidence most sought after by biographical writers are discussed, as well as the lack of such information when it comes to Shakespeare’s life. In particular, different strategies used by biography-writers over the years to make up for the lack of evidence, including the ‘association’ of Shakespeare with the broader historical context of his age, are reviewed critically and shown to function within the dynamics of the contemporary cultural and publishing industry.


Author Lindsay

Lindsay Ann Reid is a regular contributor to The Scrivener and Early Modern and Open Access. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is a Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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