Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

by James Shapiro | Audiobooks |
ISBN: 1400146488 Global Overview for this book
Registered by FeistyPom2Love of San Ramon, California USA on 10/3/2012
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by FeistyPom2Love from San Ramon, California USA on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Amazon Editorial Review:

"For nearly two centuries, the authorship of William Shakespeare's plays has been challenged by writers and artists as diverse as Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, Henry James, Helen Keller, Orson Welles, Malcolm X, and Sir Derek Jacobi. How could a young man from rural Warwickshire, lacking a university education, write some of the greatest works in the English language? How do we explain the seemingly unbridgeable gap between Shakespeare's life and works?Contested Will unravels the mystery of Shakespeare's authorship, retracing why and when doubts first arose, what's at stake in the controversy for how we value Shakespeare's achievement, and why, in the end, there can be no doubt about who wrote the plays."

Journal Entry 2 by FeistyPom2Love at San Ramon, California USA on Monday, January 30, 2017
I listened to the unabridged audio version of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro and narrated by Wanda McCaddon on compact disc.

Ugh, the audio production/quality of this audiobook wasn't very good, which is unfortunate!! However, I did think that Wanda McCaddon was a good narrator.

As far as James Shapiro's writing/book goes, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information provided in this book. I am not a William Shakespeare scholar and have only read a few of his plays during my high school and college years as required for English classes. Before reading Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro, I'd only vaguely heard that some people speculated whether Shakespeare actually wrote his plays, but that was all I really knew about the subject until listening to this audiobook. Approximately, the first 80% of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro focuses on the history of those that believe Shakespeare didn't write his plays or sonnets, while the remainder of the book focuses on why the author feels that Shakespeare wrote his plays and sonnets.

Between the bad audio quality and being overwhelmed by the amount of information provided in Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro, I found myself tuning out frequently and only listening in spurts at the parts that captured my interest.

I feel like James Shapiro has a vast knowledge regarding the subject of William Shakespeare and the authorship of his plays. But the audio quality of the audiobook was definitely a downer for me. In this case, I would have very much preferred to read Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? myself verses being read to.

I liked learning more about the authorship controversy of William Shakepeare's plays. BUT, as I mentioned above, I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information provided as I am new to this particular topic. There was just so much food for thought to take in and digest. I think if you are a Shakepeare enthusiast, then by all means this book is probably for you!

Below is a summary for Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro from Amazon:
For more than two hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, no one doubted that he had written his plays. Since then, however, dozens of candidates have been proposed for the authorship of what is generally agreed to be the finest body of work by a writer in the English language. In this remarkable book, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote his plays. Among the doubters have been such writers and thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Helen Keller. It is a fascinating story, replete with forgeries, deception, false claimants, ciphers and codes, conspiracy theories—and a stunning failure to grasp the power of the imagination.

As Contested Will makes clear, much more than proper attribution of Shakespeare’s plays is at stake in this authorship controversy. Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them?

Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. This is a brilliant historical investigation that will delight anyone interested in Shakespeare and the literary imagination.
In the end, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro just didn't do it for me in terms of interest. I'm not going to remember much about it over the long haul.

Journal Entry 3 by FeistyPom2Love at Lawton, Oklahoma USA on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Released 5 yrs ago (7/25/2017 UTC) at Lawton, Oklahoma USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Happy listening!!

Journal Entry 4 by Moody-Blue at Meers, Oklahoma USA on Thursday, August 10, 2017
Arrived several days ago. Thanks for sharing -- I'm looking forward to it.

Journal Entry 5 by Moody-Blue at Meers, Oklahoma USA on Saturday, January 13, 2018
A comprehensive look at the arguments for and against Shakespeare being the real author of his works. Included are comparisons with other similar controversies, details of the publishing trends of the day, and (of course) biographies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Although I enjoy a handful of his plays, this book is really best suited for true Shakespeare fans and scholars.

Journal Entry 6 by Moody-Blue at Montrose, Colorado USA on Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Offered up for our Audio CD VBB.

Journal Entry 7 by Moody-Blue at Montrose, Colorado USA on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Released 3 yrs ago (9/11/2019 UTC) at Montrose, Colorado USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Claimed from the Audio VBB and off to MN. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 8 by JudySlump612 at Minneapolis, Minnesota USA on Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Arrived here safely today. This looks like the kind of fascinating and challenging book I always reach for. Thanks for sharing, Moody-Blue!

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