Suzanne Gossett offers a full and critical performance history, with an introduction showing how the play's performance history has paralled the criticism. It then gives an interpretation of this two-generation romance, with its successive male and female central characters, based on a reading 'through the family', and influenced by the feminist and new historicist criticism of the last two decades. The edition integrates cumulative research on Shakespeare's collaborative authorship and the transmission of the text without rewriting the play or ignoring years of emendations.
About the Authors
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon where his father was a prosperous glover. His early life is obscure, but he married Anne Hathaway in 1682 with whom he had two children. By 1592 he was establishing himself in London, and over the next twenty years he wrote thirty-seven plays-and contributed to many more-was a prolific poet, and was taken up by several influential patrons. His Sonnets were first printed in 1609 by George Eld for Thomas Thorpe. The identity of Mr. W.H. to whom the Sonnets are dedicated remains a mystery, as does the identity of the aristocratic youth in the Sonnets and the enigmatic Dark Lady.