From Matthew Archbold on his Creative Minority Report site, in praise of Joseph Pearce's new book, Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (Ignatius Press, 2013):
I've never written a book but I imagine it's pretty hard work and then
to see some dopey blogger critiquing it by saying he liked it but
(insert any old dumb complaint here,) just seems nasty. So I'm telling
you all this to tell you that I don't write reviews with "buts." Either
I'm all in or I'm silent. So here's my but-less review of Joseph
Pearce's "Shakespeare on Love:"
It's awesome. I feel smart for having read it and that takes a lot for a guy like me. I've read Romeo and Juliet a few times and always felt that there was something missing from the interpretations I've read. I mean, I always knew that Shakespeare wasn't holding them up as models of great love. But Joseph Pearce brilliantly points out what I've been missing. Heck, not only me but pretty much most modern interpretations of the play.
The book doesn't go into a lot of rigmarole trying to prove Shakespeare's Catholicism because Pearce already did that in previous books. So if you're willing to assume Shakespeare was at least a fairly serious Catholic (which you should) then Pearce's most recent work takes that into his analysis of the play.
And I hate even saying "analysis" of the play because that sounds all high falutin and stuff. This book is brilliant but it's not stuffy. It doesn't sound like Pearce was covered in tweed and smoking a pipe as he wrote it. He may have been for all I know. It just doesn't sound like it.