30 Great Myths About Shakespeare

 Guest bloggers, Laurie Maguire and Emma Smith, write for Broad Conversation on their new book, ’30 Great Myths About Shakespeare’. We will be holding the launch of their new book on Tuesday 27th November. See below for more details.


We are thrilled to be launching our book Thirty Great Myths About Shakespeare at Blackwell’s on 27 November. We wrote the book to explore what we think we know about Shakespeare and why these beliefs are important to us. For us a myth is a widely-held perception or assumption, which is not necessarily untrue but which exaggerates, speculates, constructs or simplifies some aspect of Shakespeare’s life, theatre, and works. In our book we try to evaluate evidence for and against these myths to show not just how historical material – and the lack of it – can be interpreted and misinterpreted, but what this reveals about our own personal investment in the stories we tell about our national poet. Myths about Shakespeare, we discover, recapitulate deeply held ideas about genius and popularity, but also about emotions including love and grief.

Our short chapters scrutinise issues such as ‘Shakespeare was a Catholic’ or ‘Shakespeare detested his wife’ or ‘Queen Elizabeth loved Shakespeare’s plays’. Where possible we try to redirect speculation away from biography and back towards the works – the real reason Shakespeare is important to us today. At Blackwell’s we’ll be talking about some of the myths and discussing them with you. Who knows… maybe we we will get the material for the next thirty.

Laurie Maguire and Emma Smith on ’30 Great Myths About Shakespeare’. Tuesday 27th November at 7pm. Tickets cost £3 and can be obtained by telephoning or visiting the Customer Service Department, Blackwell Bookshop, Oxford. 01865 333623.


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