Shakespeare, his wife, and Germaine Greer

Anne Hathaway – wife of William Shakespeare rather than the American actress in “The Devil wears Prada” – is the subject of Germaine Greer’s latest book Shakespeare’s Wife.

Hathaway is a shadowy figure in English literature. Commentators have often wondered about their relationship, as she was older than Shakespeare and he mostly lived in London while Hathaway remained living in Stratford. His will is famous for leaving Anne the “second-best bed.”

According to Publisher’s Weekly, Harper Perennial will publish her revolutionary work The Female Eunuch to coincide with hardcover publication of Shakespeare’s Wife in spring 2008. HarperCollins has acquired U.S. rights to a new book by Germaine Greer, titled Shakespeare’s Wife

In Shakespeare’s Wife, Greer will reclaim Ann Hathaway from generations of scholarly neglect and misogyny, and her reconstruction of Hathaway’s life and the daily lives of Elizabethan women will also offer readers a new way into the world of Shakespeare, his plays and sonnets, and an original sense of the man himself.

A wonderful novel on Anne Hathaway is Robert Nye’s Mrs Shakespeare: The Complete Works (read the description from Arcade Publishing):

It is April 1594. William Shakespeare, a budding poet and playwright plying his trade in London, magnanimously invites his estranged wife Anne Hathaway to come down from Stratford-on-Avon to celebrate his thirtieth birthday. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” he inquires politely as she arrives. “No thanks,” she responds.