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Ian Donaldson

Ian Donaldson

Ian Donaldson is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He is General Editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson (2012), and author of Ben Jonson: A Life (2011). He was the Oxford theatre reviewer for The Guardian (London) for a decade.

Ian Donaldson reviews 'William Shakespeare and Others' edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen

January-February 2015, no. 368 01 January 2015
Shakespeare was commonly regarded by his Romantic admirers as a solitary figure, whose prodigious talents were linked in some mysterious fashion to his isolation from society and from his fellow writers. ‘Shakespeare,’ wrote Coleridge in 1834, ‘is of no age – nor, I might add, of any religion, or party, or profession. The body and substance of his works came out of the unfathomable substan ... (read more)

Ian Donaldson reviews 'Music at Midnight: The life and poetry of George Herbert' by John Drury

August 2014, no. 363 01 August 2014
Disdaining the opening moves traditionally associated with literary biography – the expected orderly progress through ancestry, parentage, birth, schooling, juvenilia – John Drury’s masterly new account of the life and poetry of George Herbert begins instead with the poem that Drury sees as Herbert’s finest work, written in mid-career, ‘Love (III)’. Herbert designed this poem as the cu ... (read more)

Ian Donaldson reviews 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, argument, controversy' by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
It was not until the middle years of the nineteenth century, so far as we can tell, that anyone seriously doubted that the man from Stratford-upon-Avon called William Shakespeare had written the plays that for the past two and a half centuries had passed without question under his name. In the early 1850s, however, a private scholar from Connecticut named Delia Bacon began to develop an alternativ ... (read more)

Ian Donaldson reviews 'Shakespeare’s Restless World' by Neil MacGregor

September 2013, no. 354 27 August 2013
The humanities are currently experiencing what’s been called a ‘material turn’ that is in some ways comparable to the linguistic turn that animated the academy half a century ago. Then it was language that commanded attention, and appeared to constitute a primary ‘reality’; now the focus is on physical objects, and what they can tell us about the world in which we live. Within certain hu ... (read more)
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