||Reviews of Where there's a Will...
"This is a delightful book: like no other book on the bard you can buy. It is entertaining, illuminating, and really readable; but what is still more difficult to achieve with Shakespeare, it is also brilliantly original. Wearing her formidable learning lightly, full of insight and humour and real experience of life, Laurie Maguire shows us how Shakespeare matters to us in the end because he teaches us the lessons of life--how to be, how to love, the necessity of staying open minded. Cutting through the mountain of academic discourse she gets right down to why Shakespear--as Ben Jonson put it--is not of an age but for all time."
Michael Wood, author and presenter of In Search of Shakespeare
"Put simply, this is a book about life and Shakespeare, and Maguire presents a convincing argument for why the two can, and often do, enrich and inform one another. The author should be applauded for her honesty in revealing herself in non-academic terms, for admitting that Shakespeare has touched her life in a very simple, yet significant way. Thought provoking, charming and deceptively simple, Where There's a Will There's A Way is an unusual and yet very relevant introduction to Shakespeare; an inspiring guide that serves as a timely reminder as to why Shakespeare is well-loved. There is much to reflect on and admire in this modest book: It's for anyone who has ever listened in wonder as Shakespeare spoke directly to them."
Emma Mulveagh, Shakespeare Bookshop, www.shakespeare.org.uk
"In Where There's a Will There's a Way, Laurie Maguire - who teaches at Oxford - transforms the Complete Works into a breezy self-help manual... You share Maguire's fizzy delight in writing for once as a human being rather than a certificated scholar as she seeks lessons about life and (especially) love."
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent, 31 August 2007
"This is Shakespeare that the Oprah generation can grab hold of. Dr Maguire offers a lively guide to what bits of the Bard to read in which personal crisis, and does not take herself or the genre too seriously."
Damien Whitworth, The Times, 11 April 2007
"This book tells you a lot about how Shakespeare works and along the way gives you some valuable tips about how to live your life. Or do I mean that this book tells you the art of living and along the way it help you to read Shakespeare? Both, I guess, so two thumbs up for Laurie Maguire."
Professor Jonathan Bate, author of The Genius of Shakespeare
"Funny, wise and accessible...lovely."
Wendy Lestina, author of 100 Things I'm Not Going to Do Now that I'm Over 50
Reviews of Shakespeare's Names
Why does Shakespeare seem to like the name Helen so much? Why does he give it to apparently virtuous and sympathetic characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream and All's Well that Ends Well? Maguire's search for an answer takes the reader on a fascinating journey, through Greek mythology and drama, early modern bibliography, and the oddities of onomastics (the study of names). If the name always referred to one person, Helen of Troy, she herself could be seen as double. According to a Greek tradition followed by Euripides, the real Helen never travelled to Troy but abided innocently in Egypt while the Greeks and Trojans fought over an image of her.
Philip Schwyzer, Times Higher Education Supplement, 7 February 2008