Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Taming of the Shrew

Some of us are old enough to recall when a ditzy Australian broad by the name of Germaine Greer got a round of applause from the menfolk of the world by suggesting that women throw away their bras, and a big thumbs down from the better endowed among the ladies for the idea. At the time, those of us that noticed, probably thought of her as an entertaining oddball
Since then Miss Greer has capitalised on this not very original concept and, by dint of acting like a latter day Mrs. Pankhurst, has made a tidy living from it.
One of her more pithy sayings was “You're only young once, but you can be immature forever,” and, by golly, has she ever proved it to be a fact.
Now the publisher Bloomsbury has unleashed her latest book upon the world and “Shakespeare's Wife” is appearing at a bookstore near you.
As a subject for a biography, there can be few more daunting subjects since there is little documented evidence of Anne's life. Much is made of Shakespeare leaving her his “second best bed” in his will but, although it may have been a comment on her performance in that arena and the reason he spent so much time with the boys and girls at the Globe Theatre, it seems to have been a pretty normal sort of bequest for the times.
Miss Greer has got over the problem of lack of information by, rather than digging up Anne, unearthing William, whom she finds to be pretty mouldy. Syphilitic, in fact, although upon what evidence she is suitably coy.
It strikes me as being a silly and pointless book.
However, I'm pretty sure that William Shakespeare will be read, acted and enjoyed long after the world has forgotten Miss Greer and her outdated feminist ramblings.


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