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Shakespeare's Christmas Gift to Queen Bess   By:

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Shakespeare's Christmas Gift to Queen Bess by A. T. Mahan takes us on a fascinating journey into the history of one of the most celebrated playwrights in the world, William Shakespeare, and his intriguing relationship with Queen Elizabeth I.

Mahan presents a captivating narrative that explores the festive season of Christmas during Elizabethan England and how it became a significant time in Shakespeare's life. The author skillfully weaves together historical facts, cultural context, and literary analysis, providing a comprehensive account of the events and relationships that surrounded this period.

The book delves into the story behind the creation of Shakespeare's famous play, "Twelfth Night," and its alleged gift-like presentation to Queen Elizabeth I. Mahan's meticulous research offers readers a deeper understanding of the political climate, sense of statecraft, and the Queen's personal connection to the play.

Furthermore, the author explores the Christmas traditions of the era, highlighting their symbolic meaning and the societal implications they held. Mahan examines the Elizabethan understanding of gift-giving, the significance of the twelve days of Christmas, and how these customs influenced Shakespeare's work.

What sets this book apart is the author's ability to combine historical accounts and literary analysis seamlessly. Mahan's writing style is engaging, making it accessible to both scholars and general readers. The book provides a wealth of information while still being entertaining, ensuring that the reader remains engrossed from start to finish.

One key strength of Mahan's work is his insightful examination of the intricate relationship between the playwright and the Queen. By interweaving historical records with Shakespearean texts, the author speculates on the possible inspirations, motivations, and influences that shaped the creation of "Twelfth Night." This analysis enhances our understanding of the play and adds a layer of depth to our appreciation of Shakespeare's genius.

Additionally, the book is well-structured, progressing in a logical and chronological manner. Mahan builds his arguments and supporting evidence with precision, creating a cohesive narrative that is easy to follow. The inclusion of relevant quotes, illustrations, and excerpts from primary sources further enhance the reader's experience and comprehension.

However, the only flaw in this otherwise exemplary work is the occasionally repetitive nature of certain sections. While it is crucial to reinforce key points, some passages could have been condensed to maintain a more consistent pace.

Overall, Shakespeare's Christmas Gift to Queen Bess offers a captivating exploration of Shakespeare's relationship with Queen Elizabeth I while shedding light on the cultural and historical context of the time. A. T. Mahan's expertise, extensive research, and engaging writing make this book an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Shakespearean studies, Elizabethan England, or the fusion of history and literature.

First Page:

[Illustration: Queen Elizabeth going to Whitehall through London Streets]

Shakespeare's Christmas Gift To Queen Bess

In the year 1596

By Anna Benneson McMahan

[Illustration: THE MERMAID TAVERN]

Chicago A.C. McClurg & Co.


Published October 12, 1907


822.33 HN8 1907 McMahan, Anna (Benneson) Shakespeare's Christmas gift

To my sister Lina in memory of the Christmases of our childhood.

"All, though feigned, is true."


Page I At the Mermaid 11

II At the Queen's Palace ... Continue reading book >>

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