Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Boston Globe reviewer pans Bate's new bard bio

Wellesley College English teacher William E. Cain blasted Jonathan Bate's new book, Soul of the Age: a Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare in the June 21, 2009 edition of the Boston Globe in his review "Will we hardly knew ye -- and still don't".
Cain complains that Shakespeare bios in general are unhelpful and irritating when biographers ". . . lacking plentiful facts, fills pages with assertion, guesswork, and speculation about how his or her overview pertains to Shakespeare’s life."
Cain complains specifically of Bate:
Reading “Soul of the Age’’ requires much patience, in order to endure Bate’s penchant for guessing, speculating, and surmising. In one of his early chapters, in the span of just two pages you will encounter phases such as: seems to have been, it is highly probable, this was usually, it is highly probable, it is a fair inference, would probably therefore. It all amounts to a fragile fabric stretching across a void.
 This is a complaint long held by those of us who are interested in the authorship question.

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