The end crowns all : closure and contradiction in Shakespeare's history /
Barbara Hodgdon.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1991.
xvii, 309 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
069106833X (alk. paper) :
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Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1991.
069106833X (alk. paper) :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [239]-296) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-11:
An uneven contribution to Shakespeare studies, Hodgdon's analysis of closure in the history plays reveals that the author has mastered a great deal of scholarship (traditional historical criticism, New Historicism, feminine criticism, and reader-resonse criticism). Her command of this criticism allows her to marshal it to her own analysis. However, her organization and style lack the sophistication of her critical analysis. There are moments when her words flow smoothly, but the turgidity of much of the prose in this book will prove daunting to all who lack familiarity with the histories. For those who are willing to undertake the task, however, there are rewarding insights into the plays, though here and there Hodgdon attempts overly subtle comments that shake the reader's faith. For example, in discussing Richmond in Richard III, she finds "a curious trace of Richard's own dissembling" in the fact that Richmond dresses many warriors in his armor; yet Hodgdon sees nothing remarkable about this common medieval practice in her discussion of Henry IV, I. Such slips are the exception rather than the rule, and this is a book that adds considerably to our understanding of the histories. It will reward the determined reader already familiar with the plays. The volume contains helpful illustrations of performances, copious notes, and an excellent index.-R. H. Peake, Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1991
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