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Considering the hundreds of thousands of words that have been written about Shakespeare, relatively little is known about the man himself. In the absence of much documentation about his life, we have the plays and poetry he wrote. In this addition to the Eminent Lives series, bestselling author Bryson (The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid) does what he does best: marshaling the usual little facts that others might overlook—for example, that in Shakespeare's day perhaps 40% of women were pregnant when they got married—to paint a portrait of the world in which the Bard lived and prospered. Bryson's curiosity serves him well, as he delves into subjects as diverse as the reliability of the extant images of Shakespeare, a brief history of the theater in England and the continuing debates about whether William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon really wrote Shakespeare's works. Bryson is a pleasant and funny guide to a subject at once overexposed and elusive—as Bryson puts it, he is a kind of literary equivalent of an electron—forever there and not there. (Nov.)
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`Fresh, concise and sharply illuminating. Bryson is brilliant at picking out just a few telltale details to paint a bigger picture . . . A gem of a book' Mail on Sunday `Witty and infectiously enthusiastic.' Spectator 'A brilliantly funny and gently insightful travel guide to 16th century England. Bryson is great at picking out of the morass of Elizabethan fact the small details that illuminate and amuseâ ¦he also uncovers from the world that surrounded the theatre some fascinating examples of Elizabethan eccentricityâ ¦As an abbreviated tour around the world of Shakespeare, this could hardly be bettered.' Sunday Times `Bryson uses an inimitably light touch and squeezes a vast subject down to manageable proportionsâ ¦he is a warm and funny guide through the whole complicated morass of Shakespearean scholarship.' Financial Times --This text refers to the Digital edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Again, a very enlightening work by Bill Bryson. I was left after reading this book with the impression of "what's all the fuss about?!"
On page 192, Bryson writes, ". . . Read more
Over the last decade, I have read many of Bryson's books. While I never thought of him as an author with amazing range, he does have two distinct styles: funny travelogue and... Read morePublished 15 days ago by M. Tillman
It's a great book for a fun read. Bill Bryson once again delivers a funny, informative, and often times surprising account of a topic that one would thought exhausted. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lovetoread
Very interesting. Bryson could write about paint drying, and make it entertaining.Published 1 month ago by WWman
The book if filled with interesting facts especially how little we know about Shakespeare.
Bill Bryson writes in such an entertaining way.
Totally enjoyed the book.
What a wonderful book about someone so little is known, yet somehow I felt I got to know a lot more about through these chapters. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anders ¿vreberg
An interesting book. It is amazing how a whole book can be written about a man where there are so few known facts.Published 2 months ago by Lindsay Barker