THE BEST HOUSE IN STRATFORD by Edward Fisher

THE BEST HOUSE IN STRATFORD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This completes Fisher's vigorous trilogy The Silver Falcon, based on the life of Shakespeare, and carries Will from 1596 up through his first retirement. Taking a cue from Edwin Arlington Robinson, Fisher tells his story over the shoulder of Ben Jonson, scalawag-scholar-play cobbler. The main theme is Shakespeare's relations with his son Hamnet, the boy's running off to London to be a player with his father, and how the boy's later death gave Shakespeare a head of steam for revamping Hamlet into a personal expression of melancholy and sorrow. Woven into this are Shakespeare's lionization by the ladies, his constant parsimony (and charity), and his relations with his wife and the people of Stratford. The theater background is kept sketchy; always to the fore is Shakespeare's mode of thought and stream of consciousness. What is impressive about the completed trilogy is its essential modesty of conception. It doesn't try to swallow all of Shakespeare but rather presents a sketch of the man in his humours; it is impressionistic rather than dark-hued, more bouncy than tragic.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1965
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman