Straight Acting

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Author: Will Tosh

Category: Biography & True Stories

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Sceptre

ISBN: 9781529390476

RRP: $55.00


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‘Engrossing, enlightening and hugely entertaining’

SARAH WATERS, author of Fingersmith

‘Brilliant – so vivid and so sharp, fantastically clever and consistently fascinating’

KATHERINE RUNDELL, author of Super-Infinite

Was Shakespeare gay? The answer is both simpler and more complex than you might think . . .

Shakespeare’s work was profoundly influenced by the queer culture of his time – much of it totally integrated into mainstream society. From a relentless schooling in Latin and Greek homoeroticism, to a less formal education on the streets and in smoky taverns, from the gender-bending of the early comedies to the astonishingly queer literary scene that nurtured Shakespeare’s sonnets, this is a story of artistic development and of personal crisis.

Straight Acting is a surprising portrait of Shakespeare’s queer lives – his own and those in his plays and poems. It is a journey back in time and through Shakespeare’s England, revealing a culture that both endorsed and supressed same-sex desire. It is a call to stop making Shakespeare act straight and to recognise how queerness powerfully shaped the life and career of the world’s most famous playwright.

‘Magisterial and saucy . . . This fresh account kickstarts the queer canon of English literature: Shakespeare won’t go back in the closet again’

EMMA SMITH, author of This Is Shakespeare

A scholarly romp through the rich complexities of Shakespeare’s queer life, work and culture. Engrossing, enlightening and hugely entertaining

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