Bill Bryson’s biography of William Shakespeare unravels the superstitions, academic discoveries and myths surrounding the life of our greatest poet and playwright.
Ever since he took the theatre of Elizabethan London by storm over 400 years ago, Shakespeare has remained centre stage. His fame stems not only from his plays – performed everywhere from school halls to the world’s most illustrious theatres – but also from his enigmatic persona. His face is familiar to all, yet in reality very little is known about the man behind the masterpieces.
Shakespeare’s life, despite the scrutiny of generations of biographers and scholars, is still a thicket of myths and traditions, some preposterous, some conflicting, arranged around the few scant facts known about the Bard – from his birth in Stratford to the bequest of his second best bed to his wife when he died.
Taking us on a journey through the streets of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, Bryson examines centuries of stories, half-truths and downright lies surrounding our greatest dramatist. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, he introduces a host of engaging characters, as he celebrates the magic of Shakespeare’s language and delights in details of the bard’s life, folios, poetry and plays.
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