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No Bed for Bacon

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  138 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
"Warning to Scholars: This book is fundamentally unsound." Master Will Shakespeare and his struggles to finish his new play are at the center of this classic 1941 satire of Elizabethan England, said by many to be the inspiration behind the recent film Shakespeare in Love. Joining Master Will in Brahms and Simon's comic mayhem are all the usual Elizabethan suspects, though ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Common Reader (first published 1941)
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Jun 28, 2015 Suzannah rated it liked it
A fun, rollicking read satirising the Elizabethan era.

I wonder if I'm quite well-educated enough to get all the jokes. Parts of the book were laugh-out-loud funny ("In what manner that I have not already used," he asked Dick Burbage, "can I bring a heroine to life who has been most dead?" HA SO TRUE), especially everything to do with Sir Walter Raleigh. The book is fairly dry and straight-faced, and I couldn't shake the feeling that some of the jokes were flying over my head.

Even if some of them
Simon Mcleish
Mar 14, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it it was amazing
Originally published on my blog here in September 1998.

Caryl Brahms & S.J. Simon wrote four humorous historical novels together; and this is probably both the silliest and funniest. They have taken a sort of general idea of the Elizabethan period, as though culled from second-rate popular histories and a good knowledge of the literature and stirred it all together as though everything in the period happened in a rush rather than during a reign of over forty years. Characters from the 1560s r
Mar 30, 2013 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I bought this on a whim. Basically because because some of the blurbs called it the basis for Shakespeare in Love — one of my favorite movies — and, while they do share some uncanny superficial similarities (a girl boy-player named Viola falling for a stressed-out Shakespeare, the gleefully irreverent nature, blah, blah, blah), it is, for the most part, NOTHING AT ALL like Shakespeare in Love. I mean, despite his name being in the subtitle, Shakespeare's story is mostly a subplot, and the bul ...more
Jun 27, 2015 Chazzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, history-era
It is time for the Queen's Revels and Elizabeth is on a tear. It seems as if she will not be pleased with anything and anyone.

Shakespeare has been commissioned to write a play but can't make up his mind. The two theatres are major competitors and are out to destroy each other while being polite and courteous to each other's faces. Essex is rebelling and Raleigh is worried how his new discovery will be liked or not liked. He has just brought a new delicacy - the potato - to England and it is to b
Richard Thomas
Dec 24, 2014 Richard Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I first read this when I was at school (in the 1960s) and have returned to the authors recently. It's still wry and sometimes outrightly funny and to me at least it has not dated. Nicely written by Brahms and Simon.
Helen Farrell
Jun 14, 2012 Helen Farrell rated it really liked it
What a riot. I read this years ago, and I am afraid it informs my interest in Shakespeare and Francis Bacon. You would have to read this book to understand why that is alarming.
Jul 30, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
A little silly, and there wasn't much of a plot, but cute and funny.
In 1941, at the height of the London Blitz, two immigrants – a Russian bridge player and a second-generation Turkish ballet critic – set out to write what would turn out to be one of the most quintessentially English comic novels ever written. The two were both fire wardens, and when they weren’t on duty together, they would leave each other cryptic notes in the watch’s log, to the puzzlement of their fellow wardens.

It may seem strange to review a book that was written almost three-quarters of a
Jul 11, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read
* 1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list

Selected by the Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges, this list includes only novels – no memoirs, no short stories, no long poems – from any decade and in any language. Originally published in thematic supplements – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – they appear here for the first time in a single list.
Jan 24, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really funny, good for anyone who likes Shakespeare in Love, the Tudors or comedy - Although it is completely inaccurate!
Dec 28, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
A gem of a comedy. Loved every bit of this one.
Feb 24, 2010 le-trombone marked it as to-read
Hmm: .
Jan 03, 2010 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
A comedy about Shakespeare. Amusing and charmingly old-fashioned, but not all that compelling, or possibly I wasn't in the mood (skipped through the last part...).
Apr 11, 2010 Emma rated it really liked it
Good, uncynical, imaginative fun. Some amusing stuff about potatoes.
Robert Leatherby
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Jul 17, 2015
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Apr 28, 2015
Eti rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2013
Jonathan Palfrey
Jonathan Palfrey rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2012
Eileen rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2015
Tom Meyer
Jun 27, 2013 Tom Meyer rated it liked it
Very funny, but surprisingly hard to follow.
JoLynn rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2017
Roy rated it really liked it
May 20, 2016
Rob rated it really liked it
Nov 16, 2012
Deepinder Jaura
Deepinder Jaura rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2016
Edward Waters
Edward Waters rated it liked it
Aug 04, 2011
CM Wilcox
Feb 02, 2017 CM Wilcox marked it as dismissed-books
I tried, but couldn't get into it. No rating, just dismissed.
Stephanie rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2014
Akhilesh Panigrahi
Akhilesh Panigrahi rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2016
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Jan 29, 2013
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Caryl Brahms, born Doris Caroline Abrahams was an English critic, novelist, and journalist specialising in the theatre and ballet. She also wrote film, radio and television scripts.
More about Caryl Brahms...

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