Shakespeare

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
59 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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
14
4 stars
36
3 stars
6
2 stars
2
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

If this book had been written by anyone not named "Bill Bryson" I would not have picked it up. I'm one of those people who regard Shakespeare the same as sausages; happy to enjoy the end product ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VictoriaBrodersen - LibraryThing

Once again Bill Bryson has produced a delightfully lighthearted and effortlessly informative read. Details or Shakespeare, the monarchy of his day, and the present puddle of corroborated details of ... 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

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Bill Bryson's bestselling books include One Summer, A Short History of Nearly Everything, At Home, A Walk in the Woods, Neither Here nor There, Made in America, and The Mother Tongue. He lives in England with his wife.

Bibliographic information