Little is known of the wife of England's greatest playwright. In play after play Shakespeare presents the finding of a worthy wife as a triumphant denouement, yet scholars persist in believing that his own wife was resented and even hated by him. Here Germaine Greer strives to re-embed the story of their marriage in its social context and presents new hypotheses about the life of the farmer's daughter who married our greatest poet. This is a daring, insightful book that asks new questions, opens new fields of investigation and research, and rights the wrongs done to Ann Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's Wife sold 8,000 copies in hardback and trade paperback, and will be a strong outdoor presence this autumn, with a major consumer campaign to ensure it hits the bestseller charts. There is a huge Shakespeare market and this will sit against Stephen Greenblatt, Stella Tillyard and Paula Byrne. Germaine Greer is one of the great intellectuals, writers, broadcasters and feminist academics of our time. As read on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week
Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australia): Non-Fiction 2008.
'Greer dares to think the unthinkable this is a bold and imaginative book' Independent 'Excellent a marvellous imagining of the life of Shakespeare's wife and a devastating exposure of the misogyny of the male biographers who have disparaged her' Sunday Telegraph 'This is a spirited, voluble, scholarly book which gives some depth and some dignity to the marginalised Mrs Shakespeare' Guardian 'A refreshing corrective to the usual portrait Greer is impressive when it comes to detailing their Stratford life and times It's robust, lively stuff' The Times
Germaine Greer gained her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1967 with a thesis on Shakespeare's early comedies and has taught Shakespeare at universities in Australia, Britain and the US. In 1986 she was invited to contribute the volume on Shakespeare to the prestigious Past Masters series. In 1989 she set up her own publishing imprint, Stump Cross Books, and went on to publish scholarly editions of Katherine Philips, Anne Wharton and Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea. She lives on three acres by a motorway exit in north-west Essex, with two dogs, thirteen geese and a fluctuating number of doves. Shakespeare's Wife has also been shortlisted for The Prime Minister's Literary Awards.