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The Shakespeare Diaries: A Fictional Autobiography Hardcover – April 1, 2007
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We get to know Shakespeare as a person through his family and friends and through his private aspirations, motives, fears, and ruminations, not to mention his carnal appetites as a gay blade--sure to surprise, if not scandalize. We meet the irrascible Ben Johnson, and we feel death breathing down our collars. Plague, taverns, duels and envy bring Shakespeare's England to life. His discussions with colleagues lend background and depth to the famous plays and characters we know so well. Would that I had had access to Shakespeare's and Nashe's discussions on The Merchant of Venice when I was a student! Although Professor Wearing incorporates many of Shakespeare's own words into his diaries, he has many an interesting muse and beautiful phrase of his own, all carefully presented in authentic Elizabethan and Jacobean English.
I didn't want the book to end and felt sad when it did. I had grown quite fond of Will, and suddenly I missed him. Were the last words of the last entry Shakespeare's or Wearing's? "Little there is in this life that surpasseth the company of good friends."