Shakespeare (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
69 Reviews

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.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sageness - LibraryThing

Okay, really it should be 3 stars, but it's engaging enough to win the 4th on pure charm. What I loved most was how frequently Bryson reminds the reader that there is no evidence for certain ... Read full review

Shakespeare: The World as Stage

User Review  - Nicholas Graham - Book Verdict

In this short introduction, Bryson's investigation of the known elements of Shakespeare's life is combined with details about Elizabethan England, all in lively, readable prose. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
22
Section 3
45
Section 4
66
Section 5
96
Section 6
117
Section 7
132
Section 8
152
Section 9
181
Section 10
197
Section 11
200
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Bill Bryson is the bestselling author of At Home, A Walk in the Woods, The Lost Continent, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, and A Short History of Nearly Everything, winner of the Aventis Prize. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson lives in England with his wife and children.

Bibliographic information