Reading Shakespeare Historically is a passionate, provocative book by one of the most renowned and popular Renaissance scholars writing today. Charting ten years of critical development, these challenging, witty essays shed new light on Renaissance studies. It also raises intriguing questions about how the culture and history of the past illuminates the key social and political issues of today. Lisa Jardine re-reads Renaissance drama in its historical and cultural context, from laws of defamation in Othello to the competing loyalties of companionate marriage and male friendship in The Changeling. In doing so she reveals a wealth of new insights, sometimes surprising but always original and engrossing. At the same time, these essays also provide a fascinating account of the rise of feminist scholarship since the 1980s and the diversifying of `new historicist' approaches over the same period.
Reading Shakespeare Historically will fascinate and provoke students of shakespeare and his historical age, and general readers with an urge to understand how the culture and history of our past illuminates the key scoial and political issues of today.
'Reading Shakespeare Historically strikes blow after blow for scholarship and reason, and it is sensitive both to the nuances of historical time and the intrinsic qualities of the text. Whether swapping (flak?) jackets with a male colleague to give their twin papers on Shakespearean transvestism, or reassuring hearty Princeton jocks who find Henry V too "girly", Professor Jardine sallies forth with conviction and verve.' - The Independent on Sunday
'The book ... has a cumulative effect and is more than the sum of its parts. Jardine articulates and develops a sophisticated methodology which allows her to "read Shakespeare historically" whilst simultaneously debating modern trends in literary criticism.' - Early Modern Literary Studies
' ... Jardine writes with vigour and clarity ...' - Speech and Drama