The Bard Forever by Anne Fortier, Author of Juliet
People often ask me what it is about Shakespeare that has made him – probably – the most famous English writer of all time. I am no expert, but even if I were, I suspect the answer would be anything but simple.
It is true that when we look at Elizabethan theatre, Shakespeare was but one of several gifted playwrights at large at the time, and we might well ask ourselves why almost all of his contemporaries are now forgotten. Even the 1998 film classic `Shakespeare in Love` (which I highly recommend to anyone who has not yet seen it) makes it clear that the Bard had a very able rival in fellow playwright Marlowe, and Marlowe was by no means the only one.
Part of the explanation for the survival and success of Shakespeare`s oeuvre might be that he had very persuasive advocates in later generations; certain famous actors – such as Edmund Kean – deftly promoted their own career while honoring their favourite playwright, and certain poets and writers – such as Coleridge and Keats – who were clearly indebted to the Bard happened to become extremely popular in their own right. To speak in business terms, we might say that Shakespeare came to dominate the market because he happened to have excellent multipliers; that he went viral long before anyone knew what that meant.
That said, obviously the bulk of the answer lies in Shakespeare`s own genius. After all, old hats generally don`t go viral. In all his plays and sonnets the Bard addresses universal themes such as love, love lost, friendship and betrayal, and steers clear of elements that pin him down in time and space. Even his historical plays feature characters that delineate the essential human passions, and this is undoubtedly why his work has been able to travel across all time and all cultures with relative ease.
And so I believe this is why Shakespeare continues to be so popular: There are as many possible interpretations of his lines as there are directors, actors, and readers; we can all identify with the characters, and yet they will always surprise us.
About the author ~
Anne Fortier grew up in Denmark and emigrated to the United States in 2002 to work in film. She co-produced the Emmy-winning documentary Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia and holds a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas from Aarhus University in Denmark. The story of Juliet was inspired by Anne Fortier's mother, who always considered Verona her true home ... until she discovered Siena.
Juliet, an ambitious, utterly engaging historical novel on the scale of The Thirteenth Tale and The Birth of Venus, follows a young woman who discovers that her family’s origins reach all the way back to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?
Find Anne here ~
Click on the moveable images HERE to take Julie’s photo tour of Siena. Each caption comes straight from her story in Juliet.
Click HERE to read an excerpt.
Juliet Tour Schedule
Tuesday, September 7
Spotlight at The Book Connection
Wednesday, September 8
Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Thursday, September 9
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Friday, September 10
Book reviewed at Caught Between the Pages
Monday, September 13
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress
Tuesday, September 14
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report
Book reviewed at Ohio Girl Talks
Wednesday, September 15
Book reviewed at Teresa’s Reading Corner
Book reviewed at Carpe Libris
Thursday, September 16
Book reviewed at Life in Review
Book reviewed at The Bookish Type
Friday, September 17
Book reviewed at A Room without Books is Empty
Monday, September 20
Book reviewed at Review from Here
Book reviewed at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, September 21
Interviewed at Review from Here
Wednesday, September 22
Book reviewed at Broken Teepee
Book reviewed at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, September 23
Book reviewed at Debbie’s Book Bag
Friday, September 24
Book reviewed at Book Reviews by Buuklvr81
Monday, September 27
Book reviewed at A Moment with Mystee
Book reviewed at Yzhabella’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, September 28
Book reviewed at My Favorite Things
Book reviewed at A Mom After God’s Own Heart
Wednesday, September 29
Book reviewed at Acting Balanced
Thursday, September 30
Book reviewed at Just One More Paragraph