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Fr. Joseph Fessio and Joseph Pearce Talk About Shakespeare | September 8, 2008 | Ignatius Insight



The following 13-minute interview took place on Monday, September 8, 2008, at Ave Maria University. Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder and editor of Ignatius Press, and Joseph Pearce, noted author of several books, discuss The Quest For Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome (Ignatius Press, 2008), Pearce's most recent book published by Ignatius Press, which has sparked fresh debate over the identity of the great playwright and the character of his religious beliefs.





RELATED IGNATIUS INSIGHT and IGNATIUS PRESS LINKS:

Will the Real Shakespeare Please Stand Up? | Chapter One of The Quest for Shakespeare | Joseph Pearce
Finding Shakespeare and Reclaiming the Classics | An interview with Joseph Pearce
Author Page for Joseph Pearce | Ignatius Insight
The Quest for Shakespeare website
Other Ignatius Press books by Joseph Pearce



The Quest For Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome

by Joseph Pearce


Highly regarded and best-selling literary writer and teacher, Joseph Pearce presents a stimulating and vivid biography of the world's most revered writer that is sure to be controversial. Unabashedly provocative, with scholarship, insight and keen observation, Pearce strives to separate historical fact from fiction about the beloved Bard.

Shakespeare is not only one of the greatest figures in human history, he is also one of the most controversial and one of the most elusive. He is famous and yet almost unknown. Who was he? What were his beliefs? Can we really understand his plays and his poetry if we don't know the man who wrote them?

These are some of the questions that are asked and answered in this gripping and engaging study of the world's greatest ever poet. The Quest for Shakespeare claims that books about the Bard have got him totally wrong. They misread the man and misread the work. The true Shakespeare has eluded the grasp of the critics. Dealing with the facts of Shakespeare's life and times, Pearce's quest leads to the inescapable conclusion that Shakespeare was a believing Catholic living in very anti-Catholic times.

Many of his friends and family were persecuted, and even executed, for their Catholic faith. And yet he seems to have avoided any notable persecution himself. How did he do this? How did he respond to the persecution of his friends and family? What did he say about the dreadful and intolerant times in which he found himself? The Quest for Shakespeare answers these questions in ways that will enlighten and astonish those who love Shakespeare's work, and that will shock and outrage many of his critics. This book is full of surprises for beginner and expert alike.

"Joseph Pearce writes piercingly brilliant books. This is one of them. He usually writes dramatic biographies. This is not one of them. It is not a biography and it is the least dramatic book he has written. But it is also the most important one. To see its importance, try the following thought-experiment. Imagine a book that convincingly proved that Homer was a Jew, or that Milton was a lapsed Catholic, or that Dante was a proto-Protestant. The idea would have far-ranging consequences. It would cast a new light on everything we knew about Homer, or Milton, or Dante. In his next book Pearce will trace the consequences of Shakespeare's Catholicism in his plays. In this book, he proves it historically. I mean proves it. (Pearce would make a formidable lawyer.) The evidence is simply overwhelming." - Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Boston College, Author, Summa of the Summa

"I've long suspected that there was a deep Catholic sensibility in the plays of Shakespeare--an emphasis on man's powerlessness without grace, yet also an openness to the sacramentality of nature, and to the energetic work of dutiful yet often mistrusted or despised servants. Pearce shows that Shakespeare himself was such a dutiful servant, ever dutiful to the Queen, but to God first. He does not leap to conclusions, but builds a case that is meticulous, reasonable, and convincing." - Anthony Esolen, Ph.D., Providence College Professor of Renaissance English

More praise for The Quest for Shakespeare
Read more about The Quest For Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome



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