Picture of author.

Emma Smith (2) (1970–)

Forfatter af Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers

For andre forfattere med navnet Emma Smith, se skeln forfatterne siden.

27+ Værker 915 Medlemmer 13 Anmeldelser

Om forfatteren

Emma Smith is Fellow in English, Hertford College, University of Oxford.
Image credit: University of Oxford

Værker af Emma Smith

Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers (2022) 266 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
This is Shakespeare (2019) 229 eksemplarer, 7 anmeldelser
The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare (2007) 59 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
30 Great Myths about Shakespeare (2012) 42 eksemplarer
The Cambridge Shakespeare Guide (2012) 25 eksemplarer
Shakespeare's Tragedies (2003) 20 eksemplarer
Shakespeare's Comedies (2003) 15 eksemplarer
Christopher Marlowe in Context (Literature in Context) (2013) — Redaktør — 13 eksemplarer

Associated Works

The Shakespeare circle : an alternative biography (2015) — Bidragyder — 26 eksemplarer
Shakespeare Survey 68: Shakespeare, Origins and Originality (2015) — Bidragyder — 9 eksemplarer
The Oxford handbook of Shakespearean tragedy (2016) — Bidragyder — 9 eksemplarer
Shakespeare and Textual Studies (2015) — Bidragyder — 7 eksemplarer
The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton (Oxford Handbooks) (2012) — Bidragyder — 5 eksemplarer
Stage directions and Shakespearean theatre (2017) — Bidragyder — 4 eksemplarer
Shakespeare : King Lear [programme] 2004 (2024) — Bidragyder — 1 eksemplar

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden

Juridisk navn
Smith, Emma Josephine
tutor (English)
literary scholar
University of Oxford (Hertford College)
Kort biografi
Emma Smith was born and brought up in Leeds, went unexpectedly to university in Oxford, and never really left. She is now Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College and the author of the Sunday Times bestseller This is Shakespeare. She enjoys silent films, birdwatching, and fast cars.



Absolutely worth listening to the audiobook (read by the author). Each chapter is self-contained, one per play (there are only 20 covered in this book). Insightful, interesting ideas, and a fresh perspective to thinking about a given play. I listened more than once to chapters about my favourite plays, and certainly broadened my perspective on those I didn't care for.

I also read the hard copy, dipping in and out of different plays, and then bought my own copy.
Dorothy2012 | 6 andre anmeldelser | Apr 22, 2024 |
I heard about this book on my favorited book podcast The History of Literature with Jack Wilson. I was super excited to pick up a copy. I love books, but more specifically I love old fashioned pappery books. I love the weight. I love the feel. I love how I can pull a book of my bookshelf and be immediately transported to the place and time where you were reading that book. I'm a minimalist but I allow myself as many books as a I want. To me they feel like little time capsules sitting on my shelf a history of where I've been and how I was thinking a different points in my life. So, needless to say I was excited to pick up a copy of this book about books as physical objects. It's a fun book. There aren't any giant revelations but it is packed with tons of interesting facts about books in their temporal form. If you are a reader and I'm guessing you are if you're looking at this review pick up a copy of Portable Magic. I think you'll enjoy it.… (mere)
ZephyrusW | 2 andre anmeldelser | Mar 6, 2023 |
When I took English Literature classes at school, studying a Shakespeare play was de rigueur. And I can’t say I disliked that. Quite the contrary. I took a (worryingly?) nerdish pleasure in comparing different editions of Julius Caesar and Macbeth, reading every last footnote, looking up difficult essays on the plays. And yet, this precocious enthusiasm failed to translate into love for the Bard. It pains me to admit that besides these two plays, my knowledge of other works by Shakespeare works is limited to the few productions and movie adaptations I’ve watched over the years. I have occasionally attempted to read other plays of his, but it always seems too daunting a prospect.

In her introduction to This is Shakespeare, Professor Emma Smith highlights this problematic aspect of the playwright. Precisely because he is so often presented as an undisputed genius, Shakespeare too often comes across as a figure to admire rather than love. Smith, however, argues that what makes Shakespeare so “contemporary” and relevant is not that he is some sort of prophet, but because his plays are “gappy”, leaving much to interpretation, and allowing us to project onto them differing and sometimes diametrically opposite views. Just by way of example, it is surprising to note how rare it is for Shakespeare to physically describe his characters, thus giving free rein to a director’s (or reader’s) imagination.

Smith’s book started life as a series of lectures/podcasts and while the playwright’s “gappiness” remains an overarching theme, the book’s twenty chapters (and epilogue) are dedicated to specific plays and can be enjoyed as self-contained essays. Indeed, Smith herself suggests that for many of her readers, this will be a book to “dip into”, perhaps before going to watch a specific play.

The chapters provide intriguing insights and, more often than not, a discussion of one work leads Smith to investigate a more general subject. For instance, The Taming of the Shrew (unsurprisingly) prompts a discussion about Shakespeare’s views on women and marriage, whereas the essay on The Merchant of Venice explores the themes of business contracts and the play’s inherent homoeroticism.

Smith’s approach is fresh and engaging. She wears her scholarship and erudition lightly, and does not deem it beneath her to cite pop culture to drive home her points – she is just as likely to refer to Homer Simpson or to an episode in the sitcom Friends as to an avant-garde Shakespeare production. Throughout, her message is at once iconoclastic and enthusiastic – by taking Shakespeare off his pedestal, we might learn to love his works more.

… (mere)
JosephCamilleri | 6 andre anmeldelser | Feb 21, 2023 |
This is a fitfully illuminating book, particularly good on those plays which have received less critical attention (the chapters on The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors are the best examples) but less rewarding on the 'core' Shakespearian canon: the chapters on Lear and Hamlet feel really tired and that on Macbeth almost perversely (although not unenjoyably) eccentric. I found Smith's relentlessly slangy style both irritating and complacent, like a bad actor reaching for a comedy accent. Perhaps her students and listeners (the chapters originated as podcast lectures) loved it. But if anyone mentions 'gappy' in the context of Shakespeare again, I shall do such things...… (mere)
djh_1962 | 6 andre anmeldelser | Nov 13, 2022 |



Måske også interessante?

Associated Authors


Also by

Diagrammer og grafer