Shakespeare: The World as a Stage
William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle... show more
William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts.
With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself. Bryson documents the efforts of earlier scholars, from today's most respected academics to eccentrics like Delia Bacon, an American who developed a firm but unsubstantiated conviction that her namesake, Francis Bacon, was the true author of Shakespeare's plays.
Emulating the style of his famous travelogues, Bryson records episodes in his research, including a visit to a bunkerlike room in Washington, D.C., where the world's largest collection of First Folios is housed. Bryson celebrates Shakespeare as a writer of unimaginable talent and enormous inventiveness, a coiner of phrases ("vanish into thin air," "foregone conclusion," "one fell swoop") that even today have common currency. His Shakespeare is like no one else's—the beneficiary of Bryson's genial nature, his engaging skepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivaled in our time.
Publish date: 2008
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages no: 200
Edition language: English
A biography on Shakespeare that also concentrates heavily on the England that Shakespeare inhabited. Easy to read and covers Shakespeare's entire life. Not very in depth though if that's what you're going for.
With the right expectations, a very enjoyable read. I was expecting more detailed information about Shakespeare's life and less general info about the time and place he lived. But this was really a book on how we know what we know about Shakespeare- and what we know is very little. Kudos to Bryso...
A brief and easy biography that breezes through the main phases of William Shakespeare's life at warp speed. The main point seems to be that little can be known about the man, so most biographies (including this one) are all conjecture and supposition. Enough background information is provides so th...
I mainly picked up this book because I love Bill Bryson, and will read anything he writes. I also loved Shakespeare back when I was doing my English Literature A-Level but hadn't read much either by or about him since. As always, I found Bryson really readable and the edition of the book was just ...
If you wanted to know more about William Shakespeare, his life, his writings, his times…etc, you would have to embark in the reading of an endless amount of written material that would fill trucks and trucks. Alternatively, you could choose a more expedite path. If instead of rummaging through t...