by Germaine Greer - £14.99 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780747593003 | ISBN 10: 0747593000
Little is known about the wife of the world's most famous playwright, but much is said about her.
Ann Hathaway has been mocked and vilified by scholars for centuries. The glaring omission of her name from Shakespeare's will has been gleefully used by many as evidence that she was nothing more than an ugly old wench whom William was shackled to after a thoughtless roll in the hay in his giddy youth. Yet Shakespeare went on to become the very poet of marriage, exploring the sacrament in all its aspects, spiritual, psychological, sexual and sociological. He is the creator of the most tenacious and intelligent heroines in English literature. Is it possible, therefore, that Ann was the inspiration? Until now, there has been no serious critical scholarship devoted to the much-wronged Ann Hathaway.
Part-biography, part-history, Shakespeare's Wife is fascinating in its reconstruction of Ann's life, and the daily lives of Elizabethan women. Germaine Greer offers an illuminating portrait of their working routines, the rituals of their courtship, and the minutiae of married life.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)