What Blest Genius?: The Jubilee That Made Shakespeare HB
What Blest Genius?: The Jubilee That Made Shakespeare
Andrew Mcconnel Stott (Author)
In September 1769, three thousand people descended on Stratford-Upon-Avon to celebrate the artistic legacy of the town's most famous son, William Shakespeare. For three days, attendees paraded through garlanded streets, listened to songs and oratorios, and enjoyed masked balls. It was a unique cultural moment - a coronation elevating Shakespeare to the throne of genius. It was also a disaster. The poorly planned Jubilee imposed an army of Londoners on a backwater town ill-equipped to host them; meanwhile, rain fell in sheets and the whole town seemed like it might wash away.
Told from the dual perspectives of David Garrick, who masterminded the Jubilee, and James Boswell, who attended it, What Blest Genius? is rich with humour, gossip and theatrical intrigue. Recounting the absurd and chaotic glory of those three days in September, Andrew McConnell Stott illuminates the circumstances in which William Shakespeare became a transcendent global icon.
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