Since the real Shakespeare is no longer around to stand up, such arguments are difficult to resolve. Anderson makes a...

“SHAKESPEARE” BY ANOTHER NAME

THE LIFE OF EDWARD DE VERE, EARL OF OXFORD, THE MAN WHO WAS SHAKESPEARE

In which Shakespeare turns out to be Shake-speare, not Shakspere.

Young journalist Anderson revives a very old argument, most of it from silence, that the presumably illiterate William Shakspere (the actor) of Stratford couldn’t possibly have written the learned and wise work attributed to him as Shakespeare (the author). Article 1: There’s no record of Shakspere’s having signed up for school. Article 2: There’s no evidence that Shakspere got any farther than London. Article 3: Shakspere’s will mentions no books, though scholars have busied themselves for generations sussing out the books that Shakespeare drew on for inspiration and storylines. The problem with such arguments, as previous would-be debunkers have discovered, is that there’s no evidence that the actor didn’t attend school; there’s reason to think he fought as a soldier on the Continent; and he may well have disposed of his books before dying so as to get some much-needed cash into the estate. No matter: following Orson Welles’s lead, Anderson turns to the well-worn thesis that the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, had all the chops to be the real Shakespeare (pen name Shake-speare, with winking hyphen): he was brilliant, much traveled and splendid, but also noble—good reason to stay away from the tawdry life of the stage in Elizabethan England, which, at the time, was torn by enough religious strife and political intrigue to keep a fellow busy doing other things, making a front convenient. Anderson charges into literary-critical battle with an admirable lack of self-consciousness, offering inventive readings, including one of Hamlet as a vehicle for the heretical thoughts of the Italian monk Giordano Bruno. He is less convincing on other argumentative lines, such as whether The Tempest, long thought to draw on a 1609 account of a Bermuda shipwreck—that is, a book published several years after de Vere’s death—might have had some other basis.

Since the real Shakespeare is no longer around to stand up, such arguments are difficult to resolve. Anderson makes a spirited case, and even the staunchest anti–de Vere partisan will profit from hearing him out—though will likely remain unconvinced.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2005

ISBN: 1-592-40103-1

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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