Shakespeare's Friends

Shakespeare's Friends

by Kate Emery Pogue

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Taking seriously the commonplace that a man is known by the company he keeps—and particularly by the company he keeps over his lifetime—one can learn more about just about anyone by learning more about his friends. By applying this notion to Shakespeare, this book offers insight into the life of the most famous playwright in history, and one of the most elusive figures in literature. The book consists of sketches of Shakespeare's contact and relationships with the people known to have been close friends or acquaintances, revealing aspects of the poet's life by emphasizing ways in which his life was intertwined with theirs. Though it is difficult to get to know this most famous of playwrights, through this work readers can gain insight into aspects of his life and personality that may otherwise have been hidden.

Shakespeare, more than any other writer in the western world, based much of his work on the consequences of friendship. Given the value placed on friends in his writing, many readers have wondered about the role friendship played in his own life. This work gives readers the chance to learn more about Shakespeare's friends, who they were and what they can tell us about Shakespeare and his times. For instance, Richard Field was a boyhood friend with whom Shakespeare went to school in Stratford. Field became a well-known London printer. The details of Field's life illuminate both the details of Shakespeare's boyhood education and the poet's relationship with the printing, publishing, and book-selling world in London. Francis Collins, a lawyer who represented Shakespeare in a number of legal dealings, drafted both versions of Shakespeare's will. This life-long friend was one of the last men eve to see Shakespeare pick up a pen to write. Through these vivid and animated sketches, readers will come to know about Shakespeare's life and times.

While the book has a lively, accessible narrative tone within chapters, its organization and features make it highly useful to the school library market as well as the academic world. It contains cross references, a detailed Table of Contents and a highly organized structure with uniformity across sections and chapters. The writing is accessible and could be easily used by upper-level high school students looking to augment school assignments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313065514
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/30/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 233 KB

About the Author

Kate Emery Pogue is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Drama, University of Houston Downtown. She is a playwright, Shakespearean actress, teacher, producer, and director. For ten years she was the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare-by-the-Book Festival. In addition to the 14 productions she directed for that company, she has directed for the Houston Shakespeare Festival, Summer Shakespeare at Notre Dame, Bucknell University, Houston Community College, and the University of Houston Downtown. She founded and for 20 years was head of the Drama Department at Houston Community College Central College, and on a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she was one of 18 teachers selected nation-wide to participate in the Folger Shakespeare Library's Teaching Shakespeare through Performance project.

Table of Contents


William Shakespeare


Richard Quiney

Hamnet Sadler

Richard Tyler

Richard Field

The Combe Family

The Nash Family

William Reynolds

Thomas Greene

John Hall

Thomas Russell

Alexander Aspinall

Julius Shaw

John Robinson

Francis Collins

William Walker


Shakespeare and Royalty

Queen Elizabeth I

King James I

Earl of Southampton

Emilia Bassano Lanier

The Pembrokes

Lady Warwick

Maria Montjoy

William Johnson

Michael Drayton

The Davanants


Philip Henslowe

Edward Alleyn

Christopher Marlowe

The Collaborators

Thomas Dekker

Beaumont and Fletcher

Ben Jonson

Shareholders and Housekeepers

Thomas Pope

William Sly

Cutbert Burbage

Will Kempe

Augustin Phillips

Richard Burbage

John Heminge

Henry Condell

The Wives

Judith Sadler

Elizabeth Quiney

Anne Digges Russell

Dorothy Nash

Ann Shaw Aspinall

Jaqueline Vautrollier Field

Rebecca Heminge

Elizabeth Condell

Winifred Burbage






What People are Saying About This

Richard Easton

"During a long experience of acting Shakespeare—well over 50 productions, from Hamlet in high school in 1950 to Henry IV at Lincoln Center in 2004—with some of the greatest stars and best directors in the theater, my aim has always been to make the audience feel as I do, that the playwright is easily accessible to modern audiences. That he is, in fact, an easily made friend. This delightful and fascinating book accomplishes that noble aim most beautifully."

Herman Gollob

"Shakespeare's Friends is a unique, lively and appealing approach to Shakespeare's life and times. Shakespeare enthusiasts surely will find it useful and entertaining."

Dr. Paul Rathburn

"Kate Pogue's new book, Shakespeare's Friends, provides a welcome respite from the swirl of cynicism, sentimentality, myth, and legend surrounding Shakespeare's private life. Pogue is judicious, restrained, and scholarly. True believers and anti-Stratfordians alike will find this an informative and jolly good read."

Zoe Caldwell

"Who would have thought there was anything new to know about Shakespeare? Well, there is! Who were his friends? It makes a big difference to know."

Penny Metropulos

"Kate Pogue's provocative investigation into the lives of the real characters in Shakespeare's world offers us richly drawn portraits and anecdotes that illuminate the man behind the plays. Through this book we can imagine a link between his writing and the people who surrounded his life. Shakespeare's Friends is a wonderful addition to any Shakespeare library."

Dr. Sidney Berger

"Kate Pogue's literary detective work adds a vital dimension to our frail knowledge of Shakespeare's life. The book allows us into his time and gives us insights which place him in the context of the vital world of his colleagues and friends."

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