Stephen Greenblatt has written a new compilation of facts about William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon. Partly a reinterpretation of information long-known, partly a statement of relatively new details, and partly speculation, this biography is worthwhile because it is offerred by a respected writer who wholeheartedly believes that Shakespeare is no more or less than the man from Stratford. Greenblatt's ideas about how an uneducated fellow from the boondocks could possibly have written such great literature is fairly convincing. He does not attempt to gloss over the less savory features of Will's character, nor to romanticize his marriage or his pilfering from the works of others. The major flaw in this volume is its length, with pages of minutia about minor points. (Excessive length seems to be a common fault these days.) Otherwise, this is a valuable, updated overview of what is currently known about the most famous English author in history.
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