BOOK Details

Filthy Shakespeare

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An Observer Book of The Year
New York Society Library Book Recommendation
Five Star Rating 200 word review in About.com Guide to Classics.
Best Christmas books in The Observer, The Saturday Telegraph, The Guardian, Company Magazine
Pick of the Christmas Books, Las Vegas News
Pick Of The Month’, Bookviews, independent book review publication, New Jersey, USA


‘Thank you for Filthy Shakespeare. It will change the way the world sees Shakespeare. What is exciting is how you’ve written about the subject and revealed the most important element of Shakespeare – the intensity of feelings in the plays. You are an erudite interpreter with the great advantage of being a dramatist'
Joseph Strick, Film Producer/Director

‘As a rule, books about Shakespeare’s bawdy are stifling dull, but Pauline Kiernan’s is a glorious exception, We get a new perspective on Shakespeare’s matchless word play. A beautifully presented guide to Elizabethan filth. You have changed the way people think about Shakespeare. A miniature masterpiece'
Stephen Bayley, Observer Book of the Year

‘Should have readers moaning in delight... an analysis of the Bard's sexual language in the best scholarly tradition, but it's also a great beach read... Entertaining and outlandish, an important addition to Shakespeareana. You won't look at Shakespeare the same way again'
Life and Times of Utica, New York

‘Kiernan is a pukka scholar. Her method might be called exegesis. ...a work of scholarship dressed up, with brilliant design, as titillation. It’s as if a lady professor were to arrive on the lecture platform in a shocking pink bikini'
Bevis Hillier, The Spectator

‘The author of this remarkable and fascinating book… has trawled his poems and plays with a raunchy, albeit scholarly,
eye and come up with some corkers'

The Stage

‘A work of scholarship dressed up, with brilliant design, as titillation. It is as if a lady professor were to arrive on the lecture platform in a shocking pink bikini. Kiernan is a pukka scholar… [she] finds sex in more or less everything: her method might be called sexegesis'
The Spectator

‘Every page breathes her love of Shakespeare and her wish to communicate the man’s genius and his brilliant understanding of the human condition. Brings the Bard alive in the most extraordinary way, in the process rescuing him from the aspic of his elevated reputation'
The Oxford Times

‘A whole new way of looking at Shakespeare’ A 500+word positive review ending: ‘Pulsating!’
The Hindu national newspaper, India

‘With more than four centuries of language shifts and Shakespeare's unmatched genius for puns and double-entendre, most readers today, unlike those of his time, skim past it. But help has arrived [from] Oxford PhD Pauline Kiernan. It's a romp of a read'
Washington Post

‘Do you know what all you've missed in the Shakespeare's works? In this book, Kiernan offers enlightening details related to the funny, sexy (even shocking?) language of William Shakespeare. Without an understanding of his use of double entendre, innuendos and other devices, you may well have missed much of the significance of what Shakespeare was really saying.’
‘A delicious and comprehensive book full of all the hidden meanings, sexual innuendo and vulgarities in all of Shakespeare's plays'

Chicago Sun-Times

‘Really funny - Filthy Shakespeare also happens to be awesomely dirty’
Pick of the Christmas Books, Las Vegas News

‘Fortunately, Shakespeare scholar Kiernan (Shakespeare's Theory of Drama) has taken the mystery out of the Bard's deceptively graphic passages. These blush-inducing transcripts render Shakespeare's work instantly contemporaneous… this jaw-dropping, giggle-inducing text proves both the Bard's enduring relevance and the fact that today's popular entertainment isn't nearly as debased as some might think’
Publishers Weekly

‘Kiernan’s brilliant new book'
Philadelphia Weekly

‘Pauline Kiernan dissects some of [Shakespeare’s] bawdier passages and gives a few surefire pick-up lines to use at the next English department soiree: “It would cost you a groaning to take off mine edge"'
Portland Oregon News and Culture

‘On the subject of great reading, surely the works of William Shakespeare rank high, but now you can enjoy them even more with Pauline Kiernan’s Filthy Shakespeare that reveals his coded words and puns …These were not lost on the audience of his time who apparently enjoyed them, as you will too …The author holds a Doctorate from the University of Oxford and is not easily given to blushing'
‘Pick Of The Month’, Bookviews, independent book review publication, New Jersey, USA