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William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life
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William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Covering 400 years of Shakespeare scholarship, Schoenbaum's now classic William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life received high acclaim from critics and scholars. The New York Review of Books called it "a masterpiece," and the Guardian labeled it "our best life of Shakespeare."
Making the resources of the world's greatest Shakespeare collections more accessible to all reader
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 14th 1987 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 21st 1977)
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This extremely well researched book collects all of the available documentary evidence regarding Shakespeare and his associates into one compact life. As a biography it does not give a clear driving narration of the poet's life, but rather tries to tell his story through the evidence that is left to us. He does a great job debunking myths and citing sources. As a "story" of Shakespeare's life, this is not the first volume I would turn to, but rather would look at a biography in one of the "colle ...more
There are very few established facts about Shakespeare's life. Because of that most biographers of Shakespeare are forced to speculate. This 'documentary life' tries to avoid the pitfalls of speculation, and builds a life around what few fact we have about the man and the times. It is, perhaps, the best source book for what we do know about the greatest poet and playwright of the English language.
Until I read "Will in the World," I had long believed this to be the best of all Shakespearian biographies, and it still has worlds to offer. Just don't limit yourself to it as a single source!
Tom Delise
I think it is still the best Shakespeare bio out there.
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