A definitive biography of Shakespeare’s great rival

Reviewed by
February 2012, no. 338

A definitive biography of Shakespeare’s great rival

Reviewed by
February 2012, no. 338

‘O Rare Ben Jonson’

Lisa Gorton

 

Ben Jonson: A Life
by Ian Donaldson
Oxford University Press, $48.95 hb, 552 pp, 9780198129769

 

Ambitious, arrogant, talented, brave, learned, truculent, and convivial: Ben Jonson was too outstanding, too odd, and too contrary to be taken as a creature of his time. Yet he had so wide-ranging a life that to write his biography is to capture, in little, a great part of his remarkable age.

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