By Jennifer Reese
April 15, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Shakespeare's Wife

B+

Little is known about Shakespeare’s wife, Ann, who married the 18-year-old poet in 1582 and bore him three children. Still, scholars have reflexively branded Ann a homely older woman who trapped the genius in a loveless union. Germaine Greer tries to set the record straight in Shakespeare’s Wife, a study that’s both frustrating and fascinating. It’s frustrating because while Greer meticulously exposes the sexist biases underlying depictions of Ann, she’s unable to replace them with a more rounded picture. And it’s fascinating because she re-creates in lavish detail the material realities of women’s lives in 16th-century England. B+

Shakespeare's Wife

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