The Late Mr. Shakespeare

The Late Mr. Shakespeare

Robert Nye / Sep 16, 2019

The Late Mr Shakespeare From the pen of the writer whom Peter Ackroyd called one of our best living novelists comes a work that is rich strange and wonderful Welcomed in Shakespeare s own land as the most original excitin

  • Title: The Late Mr. Shakespeare
  • Author: Robert Nye
  • ISBN: 9780749004958
  • Page: 235
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the pen of the writer whom Peter Ackroyd called one of our best living novelists comes a work that is rich, strange, and wonderful Welcomed in Shakespeare s own land as the most original, exciting, and provocative novel about the playwright since Anthony Burgess s classic Nothing Like the Sun, Robert Nye s The Late Mr Shakespeare is a literary event Our guide toFrom the pen of the writer whom Peter Ackroyd called one of our best living novelists comes a work that is rich, strange, and wonderful Welcomed in Shakespeare s own land as the most original, exciting, and provocative novel about the playwright since Anthony Burgess s classic Nothing Like the Sun, Robert Nye s The Late Mr Shakespeare is a literary event Our guide to the life of the Bard is an actor by the name of Robert Reynolds, known also as Pickleherring Pickleherring asserts that as a boy he was not only an original member of Shakespeare s acting troupe but played the greatest female roles, from Cleopatra through Portia In an attic above a brothel in Restoration London a half century after Shakespeare has departed the stage Pickleherring, now an ancient man, sits down to write the full story of his former friend, mentor, and master Ancient he may be, but fond, faithful Pickleherring has forgotten not one jot, and using sources both firsthand and far fetched, he means to set the record straight Gentle readers will learn much that will open their eyes One by one, chapter by chapter, Pickleherring teases out all the theories that have been embroidered around Shakespeare over the centuries Did he really write his own plays Who was the Dark Lady of the sonnets Did Shakespeare die a Catholic What did he do during the so called lost years, before he went to London to write plays What were the last words Shakespeare uttered on his deathbed Was Shakespeare ever in love Pickleherring turns speculation and fact into stories, each bringing us inexorably closer to Shakespeare the man complex, contradictory, breathing, vibrant Robert Nye has given us an outrageously bawdy, language loving, and edifying romp through the life and times of the greatest writer who ever lived The Late Mr Shakespeare proves how alive he was.

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      Published :2018-011-27T01:49:21+00:00

    About "Robert Nye"

      • Robert Nye

        Robert Nye was an English writer, playwright and poet.Nye started writing stories for children to entertain his three young sons Nye published his first adult novel, Doubtfire, in 1967 Nye s next publication after Doubtfire was a return to children s literature, a freewheeling version of Beowulf which has remained in print in many editions since 1968 In 1970, he published another children s book, Wishing Gold, and received the James Kennaway Memorial Award for his collection of short stories, Tales I Told My Mother 1969.During the early 1970s Nye wrote several plays for BBC radio including A Bloody Stupit Hole 1970 , Reynolds, Reynolds 1971 , and a version of Penthesilea by Heinrich von Kleist 1971 He was also commissioned by Covent Garden to write an unpublished libretto for Harrison Birtwistle s opera, Kronia 1970 Nye held the position of writer in residence at the University of Edinburgh, 1976 1977, during which time he received the Guardian fiction prize, followed by the 1976 Hawthornden Prize for his novel Falstaff.He has continued to write poetry, publishing Darker Ends 1969 and Divisions on a Ground 1976 , and to prepare editions of other poets with whose work he feels an affinity Sir Walter Ralegh, William Barnes, and Laura Riding His own Collected Poems appeared in 1995, and remains in print His selected poems, entitled The Rain and The Glass, published in 2005, won the Cholmondeley Award He has lived since 1977 in County Cork, Ireland Although his novels have won prizes and been translated into many languages, it is as a poet that he would probably prefer to be remembered The critic Gabriel Josipovici has described him as one of the most interesting poets writing today, with a voice unlike that of any of his contemporaries.


    1. I am a great fan of Shakespeare. I read this book strictly on the strength of the enthusiastic reviews on the back cover. It is very different. I'm no prude and I don't mind "bawdy" terminology, especially if it is descriptive of the times (as in Elizabethan England)but I must say, it goes beyond bawdy in a few parts- especially in the chapter about Shakespeare's mother, where the playful tone of conjecture becomes outright revolting. It is true that the scholarship involved is amazing at times; [...]

    2. This is one of those books that I have a hard time assessing after I've read it. Undoubtedly, TLMS is brilliantly written. It revels in puns and word-smithery. I acknowledge all of this. It's a great book, clever and well-constructed. But I didn't like reading it for the same reasons I dislike books like Catch-22. Eventually, novels as extended jokes wear me out, and I ultimately find them dull. meh. But I did enjoy the bawdy narrator's literary criticism of Shakespeare's plays. Most of his read [...]

    3. Robert Nye's Mrs. Shakespeare sounds great - the Bard as seen by his razor-sharp nearest and dearest - but The Late Mr. Shakespeare reads like scraps from that table. Nye plods through the Stratford Tourist Board highlights of Shakey's life, never giving us any insight into the man or his work or his times (why else are we reading a historical novel about WS?). The void is filled by a clichéd narrator, the kind of jokes that were out of fashion even in 1600 and a couple of keyhole-peeped sex sc [...]

    4. Robert Reynolds, alias Pickleherring, narrates this memoir of his life as a boy actor in Shakespeare's troupe, hoping to dispel the many rumors and lies about his older friend and mentor's life. Robert Nye has based this fictional biography on a variety of legitimate sources, but relies most on a healthy dose of sheer tall-tale-telling and bawdy reconstructions of Elizabethan London. His reconstruction of Shakespeare's childhood and the infamous "lost years" in particular abound with rich detail [...]

    5. An absolute delight, I adore Robert Nye. This is one of a trilogy of Shakespeare novels he published, the others being Falstaff and Mrs. Shakespeare: The Complete Works.It's interesting to look, many years later, at the elements of Nye's story that have become part of the standard Shakespeare narrative by 2016 (Lucy Negro? good pull, Mr Nye!) but must have been far more speculative when this was written. Many chapters of this book will be enjoyable to the average reader but only take on resonanc [...]

    6. This delightfully irreverent book offers the biography of Shakespeare, written many years after the fact by someone who actually knew him, which real-world history has been denied. That dry description aside, the writing, scenes, and situations are lively, witty and unforgettable. Where else can you find an imagined sex scene between a foul-mouthed Queen Elizabeth and the crude John Shakspere in the woods?

    7. I was expecting a general romp throught the life of Shakespeare, kind of like King of Shadows. What I recieved was a dirty, sexual romp with some documentary-like analysis of some of the passages of Shakespeare. Nye dwells too much on the conception and childhood of Shakespeare, and not enough on his LIFE. Disappointing.

    8. "Who is Shakespeare? Where is he to be found? How can we tell the man from the work, and both from the stories about him? Why did the sly fellow leave so little information about himself, so few facts in the way of footprints made in Time?" Such questions are undertaken here, some years after the Bard's death, by an aged actor, who had in youth taken female roles in original productions of, for example, Romeo and Juliet, and who now prefers to call himself only "your servant Pickleherring." Ech [...]

    9. Nye is a poet and novelist who has written a number of works of historical fiction, including two related to William Shakespeare. This bawdy yet erudite tale proports to be a biography of the playwright by one of the actors in his troupe of players, written some decades after the master’s passing. Robert Reynolds (aka Pickleherring, apparently stage names weren’t what they would become once studios and press agents took charge) is an entertaining story teller whose notion of biography (and h [...]

    10. I must admit that I'm coming at that book as a bit of a Shakespeare know-nothing. For years, the only Shakespeare I've been able to quote has been "If music be the food of love play on. Give me excess of it that surfeiting my appetite may sicken and so die". And I only remember that because I'm a huge music geek, and I studied "Twelfth Night" in school. It's probably even wrong. Anyway, this was on my radar because I thought Nye's take on "Faust" was rather magnificent, I thought he might grasp [...]

    11. What more can I say? I love just about everything Shakespearean, and am always looking for new ways to appreciate the Bard. This was an interesting take on Shakespeare for sure and certainly not for everyone. It is "written" by a older man nicknamed Pickleherring who played many of Shakespeare's heroines when he was a young man. So the premise is that he intimately knew and associated with the writer through his professional life. Robert Nye--through the persona of Pickleherring--invents other d [...]

    12. Finding myself at a store (the excellent Mercer Street books), that did not have Nye's 1976 Falstaff (from the Burgess Ninety-Nine Novels list), I settled for this (plainly) similarly-themed book. This might be called historical fiction, but it very freely adapts anything resembling fact, starting with the narrator, an actor known as Pickleherring, who is writing many years after Shakespeare's death from the perspective of an old man who had joined the troupe as a boy. Hence enough years had pas [...]

    13. Both bawdy and beatific, opinionated and objective, The Late would shine a light on not only one of history's most renowned if enigmatic artistic talents but the discipline in which he labored. It is not just a tale of a writer and his writing, however, but the world of the theater that brought (to its fullest effect, and still brings) that writing to life. It is this, Mr. Nye's approach to his subject, that makes his novel the gem it is. Through the recollections of the aged Pickleherring, a bo [...]

    14. i think i like novels about shakespeare as much as the plays themselves - which is to say, quite a lot. it's like anglican choral music: i grew up with it, and it's an aesthetic i've come to feel immensely comfortable with. (not that i'd lead you to believe this book bears any resemblance to an anthem by stanford ) irreverent, chaotic, just barely hanging together at the seams and full of random, crunchy oddities. certainly not tame, definitely not boring. includes one of my favourite quotes ab [...]

    15. Oh dear Lord. This book looked great, sounded like a ton of fun, but turned into a novel by a poet - and that's not a compliment. The scattershot narrative only caught fire a few times, notwithstanding the events of 1666. I think a better description of this book would avoid characterizing this as a novel, but rather a fictional player's memoir as he tries to write a biography of Shakespeare. Two and a half stars. Into the resale pile.

    16. A clever idea gone very wrong with its insistence of bawdy, bordering on pornographic suggestives. What could have been a great book comes off as pretentious. I really hoped it would work, but found myself thumbing through it instead of reading it. The historical conjectures were a mixture of silliness and solid fact. Anyone know of other Shakespeare-flavored fiction that weaves in fact?

    17. I gave this up shortly after I started, mostly because personal schedule allowed no reading time. I sometimes found the book entertaining. The tale is told from an old man's viewpoint, but like talking with my grandpa, sometimes his mind wandered mid-topic and I needed patience to stay with the conversation. So it is with The Late Mr. Shakespeare.

    18. This is a fine entertainment -- considerable verisimilitude, but at the same time a stretch for credulity. The narrator, one "Pickleherring," belonged to the Bard's original acting troupe and performed many of the lead female roles. Now, at the end of his life, he takes pen in hand to record what he remembers of the great dramatist.

    19. awesome book - a history of william shakespeare written by an old man who had spent his life as a player with shakespeare's company from a very early age. a wonderful mixture of erudition and outrageous guesswork, in parts funny and bawdy, affording a real sense (it felt) of the times and of shakespeare and his works.

    20. It is very seldom that I cannot finish a book especially one about Shakespeare.I was intrigued with the concept of this book and encouraged by some great reviews. Sadly I could not get past the first 75 pages and that was hard work but I really wanted to. Give this my best shop The authors attempt at capturing the bawdiness of the bard simply stooped to the depths of crass and crude.

    21. An interesting blend of facts and fiction about Shakespeare's life. Unfortunately the fake 17th Century narrative style is very annoying.

    22. Ehh. Same riff as Falstaff but not as compelling. Thoughts on All's Well and boys-as-girls are fascinating, though.

    23. Rereading this after quite a few years--this book takes work. The language spins a web, and you have to be on your game to keep up.

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