GENTLEMAN OF STRATFORD by John Brophy

GENTLEMAN OF STRATFORD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fictional reconstruction of the life of Shakespeare, with the liberties taken justifiably and made convincing. Brophy shows real scholarship behind his work, and there is an authentic note in the details of time and place and customs and contemporaries. It is rather interesting to find a new interpretation put upon the sonnets, with the division into three types, -- those written to order at the behest of Southampton's family, when Shakespeare was indebted to Southampton for financial backing; those written in romantic vein under the lure of the mysterious masked lady in white and scarlet; those written to the dark lady, who made him disillusioned and bitter. Into this pattern, too, Brophy fits the heroines of the plays, making their originals parallel the two women of the sonnets. Authority for this? Perhaps as good as authority for other theories of his love life. The man deduced from the facts is a vital and convincing figure. The book makes easy reading, in spite of the deliberate use of Anglicisms of the period. Skilful interpolation of critical comment, from the hero himself.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1939
Publisher: Harper