Joseph Pearce on Shakespeare, on himself

Via Fr. Z’s Blog, here is Joseph Pearce writing on Shakespeare in the St. Austin Review:

Immediately after the event I took my seat at the university’s theatre to see a performance of Measure for Measure. It was well directed and extremely well acted, though the production succumbed, all too predictably, to the modern tendency to vulgarize and accentuate the bawdy elements to the detriment of the main moral thrust of the drama. Nonetheless, the palpitating presence of Isabella’s holiness exorcised the demons and shone forth Shakespeare’s patently Catholic purpose. Her role and presence in the play serves as a timely and timeless metaphor for the power and purpose of the presence of the saints in the vale of tears. Indeed her presence tears the veil so that the light of heaven can penetrate the darkness. Although the non-believers in the audience did not know it, they were being evangelized with the light and love of the Gospel.

And on Joseph Pearce himself, he has an autobiography coming out in September which I’ve already ordered, Race with the Devil: My Journal from Racial Hatred to Rational Love

From the publicity materials:

Joseph Pearce is foremost Catholic biographer of our time, but it wasn’t always so.

Imagine discovering God for the first time in the confines of a jail cell. Imagine spending the first half your life amidst the seedy underground of the white supremacy movement before becoming one of the foremost Religious scholars in the world.

Imagine being converted by the writings of Chesterton, and years later writing a biography on him. Joseph Pearce doesn’t have to imagine it – he lived it.

Growing up on the rough streets of Dagenham, England, Joseph Pearce was thrown into a life that led anywhere but to God and salvation. A world of hate and violence was all he knew, until one day he picked up the writings of G.K Chesterton and everything changed.

In Race With the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love take a journey through the peaks and valleys of one of the most fascinating conversion stories of our time, written first-hand by Pearce himself.

Even those who are unfamiliar with him will not be able to put the book down!

In a million guesses I wouldn’t have got his origins correct. I highly recommend his course on Lord of the Rings.

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