A narrative survey of a nation's history as portrayed by the nation's greatest writer, William Shakespeare, recounting the story of what really happened in the century and a half between 1337 and 1485 by examining the history plays, from the authenticated "Edward III" through to "Richard III".
Shakespeare's Kings is a brilliant narrative survey of a nation's history as portrayed by the nation's greatest writer, William Shakespeare, recounting the story of what really happened in the century and a half between 1337 and 1485 by examining the history plays, from the recently authenticated Edward III through to Richard III. Just where did history stop and drama begin? John Julius Norwich establishes just how real Shakespeare's characters and events are and what liberties he took with the facts to improve the pace of the plays and to entertain his audience. 'Although Shakespeare remains faithful to his sources for much of the time, there are - predictably enough - a good number of divergencies. From time to time he may have had to cope with an objection from the censor; a shortage of actors may sometimes have made it necessary to eliminate some minor character and attribute his actions to another. There are even moments when the root of the trouble seems to have been nothing more than plain carelessness. But in the vast majority of instances when Shakespeare departed from historic truth he did so for the best of all reasons: to make a better play. He was, after all, a playwright - first, last and always. To him, the cause of the drama was of infinitely greater importance than the slavish observance of historical truth.' Shakespeare's Kings is an illuminating companion to history and the richness of Shakespeare's imagination: an imagination which still shapes our view of the past today.
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John Julius Norwich was born in 1929. He joined the British Foreign Service after studying French and Russian at Oxford, and left the service in 1964 to become a writer. He has also worked extensively in radio and television, hosting the popular BBC radio panel game My Word! for several years, and writing and presenting historical documentaries. His many books include an acclaimed Byzantium trilogy., John Julius, 2nd Viscount Norwich, was born in 1929, the son of the statesman and diplomat Alfred Duff Cooper (1st Viscount) and the Lady Diana Cooper. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and on the lower deck of the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. In 1952 he joined the Foreign Service, where he remained for twelve years, serving at the embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and with the British Delegation to the Disarmament Conference at Geneva. In 1964 he resigned from the service in order to write. His many and varied publications include two books on the medieval Norman Kingdom in Sicily, The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun, which are published by Faber Finds; The Architecture of Southern England; Glyndebourne; and A History of Venice, originally published in two volumes. He is also the author of a three-volume history of the Byzantine Empire. He has written and presented some thirty historical documentaries for television, and is a regular lecturer on Venice and numerous other subjects.
Shakespeare's Kings by John Julius Norwich
John Julius Norwich
Used - Very Good
Faber & Faber
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