Shakespeare and the Resistance: The Earl of Southampton, the Essex Rebellion, and the Poems that Challenged Tudor Tyranny Audiobook, by Clare Asquith Play Audiobook Sample

Shakespeare and the Resistance: The Earl of Southampton, the Essex Rebellion, and the Poems that Challenged Tudor Tyranny Audiobook

Shakespeare and the Resistance: The Earl of Southampton, the Essex Rebellion, and the Poems that Challenged Tudor Tyranny Audiobook, by Clare Asquith Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Allan Corduner Publisher: PublicAffairs Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: August 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781549119125

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

62:11 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

12:26 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

37:19 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

Shakespeare's largely misunderstood narrative poems contain within them an explosive commentary on the political storms convulsing his country

The 1590s were bleak years for England. The queen was old, the succession unclear, and the treasury empty after decades of war. Amid the rising tension, William Shakespeare published a pair of poems dedicated to the young Earl of Southampton: Venus and Adonis in 1593 and The Rape of Lucrece a year later.

Although wildly popular during Shakespeare's lifetime, to modern readers both works are almost impenetrable. But in her enthralling new book, the Shakespearean scholar Clare Asquith reveals their hidden contents: two politically charged allegories of Tudor tyranny that justified-and even urged-direct action against an unpopular regime. The poems were Shakespeare's bestselling works in his lifetime, evidence that they spoke clearly to England's wounded populace and disaffected nobility, and especially to their champion, the Earl of Essex.

Shakespeare and the Resistance unearths Shakespeare's own analysis of a political and religious crisis which would shortly erupt in armed rebellion on the streets of London. Using the latest historical research, it resurrects the story of a bold bid for freedom of conscience and an end to corruption that was erased from history by the men who suppressed it. This compelling reading situates Shakespeare at the heart of the resistance movement.

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"This is a FANTASTIC book! Anyone who ever tried to slog through Shakespeare's two epic poems or wondered at the point of some of his other writings and plays should read this book. To use a strange example, it is like trying to watch a 3-D movie without the 3-D glasses - this book gives you those glasses for Shakespeare! The author explains how Shakespeare's writings were affected by the political and religious upheavals of the time and the need for writing in allegory to express political thought. You've GOT to read this book!"

— John (5 out of 5 stars)


  • A wonderful book and an important contribution to Shakespeare studies. It flows like a good novel, taking the reader into the argument and illuminating the neglected poems with scholarship and infectious enthusiasm.

    — Michael Scott, author of Shakespeare: A Complete Introduction; Honorary Senior Provost ofthe University of Wales Trinity St David
  • Insightful and enjoyable.... A vivid and persuasive argument that we can and should renew our enquiry into Shakespeare's complex and disguised responses, under strict censorship, to the fraught and dangerous cultural politics of post-Reformation England.

    — Sir Michael Boyd, artistic director of the RoyalShakespeare Company, 2003-2012
  • Compelling ... written with lovely clarity and verve.

    — Emma J. Smith, professor of English, OxfordUniversity
  • Continuing her learned and provocative account of Shakespeare's religion and politics in Shadowplay, Clare Asquith turns her attention, in this beautifully written and informative book, to the narrative poems ... demonstrating that Shakespeare would have been as gripped by such events as Russian writers were by the communist terror, and as unable as they to express his thoughts directly. If you love Shakespeare, England, and our Christian heritage, you will want this book by your bedside and that of your guests. Buy the book now, and prepare for long evenings of fertile argument.

    — Sir Roger Scruton, editor of The Salisbury Review
  • Another distinguished achievement ... among other things, an excellent narrative of the last poignant months of Essex and his importance to Shakespeare and Southampton. Asquith leads the way in impressing on our culture the power of the Catholic presence in Shakespeare and in England.

    — Dennis Taylor, emeritus professor of English atBoston College, editor of Religion and the Arts

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About Allan Corduner

Allan Corduner, Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a voice, film, and theater actor who has worked in London’s West End and on Broadway. He starred as Sir Arthur Sullivan in Mike Leigh’s Topsy Turvy. Other films include Moonlight Mile, The Green Zone, and Yentl. He has also appeared in several BBC Radio 4 plays, including The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Insignificance. His narration includes The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series.