Front Cover
Cape, 1970 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
2 Reviews

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Burgess used Shakespeare as a character in his 1964 novel Nothing Like the Sun but turned a more critical eye to the bard's life in this 1970 outing. The book is at once the story of Shakespeare ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

A subjective non-scholarly approach to the life, times and work of The Bard. To experts, many of the judgments will be unsubstantiated. For instance, Burgess asserts that the Dark Lady of the sonnets could have been a black woman from North Africa. He also wonders if the second best bed went to wife Anne because he caught her and his younger brother in flagrante delicto. Such speculation – and the author himself calls it “unsound” – will seem idiosyncratic, like Burgess picturing the looks and manners of Shakespeare’s brothers and sisters. Still, it is fun to read even if some conclusions have been superseded by those in Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World. I like the criticism and insights of one professional writer about another. 


The Shakespeare coat of arms reverse of frontispiece
Clopton Bridge StratforduponAvon page
Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester page

15 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1970)

Anthony Burgess was born in 1917 in Manchester, England. He studied language at Xaverian College and Manchester University. He had originally applied for a degree in music, but was unable to pass the entrance exams. Burgess considered himself a composer first, one who later turned to literature. Burgess' first novel, A Vision of Battlements (1964), was based on his experiences serving in the British Army. He is perhaps best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange, which was later made into a movie by Stanley Kubrick. In addition to publishing several works of fiction, Burgess also published literary criticism and a linguistics primer. Some of his other titles include The Pianoplayers, This Man and Music, Enderby, The Kingdom of the Wicked, and Little Wilson and Big God. Burgess was living in Monaco when he died in 1993.

Bibliographic information