Robin's Reviews > Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
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Dec 04, 07

Recommended for: anyone curious about Shakespeare
Read in December, 2007

I've always been a Shakespeare fan since I first saw Julius Caesar performed in my school cafeteria in 6th grade. Like a lot of people, I do rather wonder what the man himself was like -- and this book is a wonderful look at just why we'll likely never know. Bill Bryson is just as witty and readable as always -- the man does have a flair for making apparently difficult topics appealing to almost everyone, see A Short History of Nearly Everything. The great thing is that while there are hundreds if not thousands of theories about Shakespeare -- that he was someone else entirely, that he hated his wife, just who the lovely young man and dark lady were in the sonnets, or that he was just a successful businessman and playwright -- we just don't know that much. At all. But this is a great way to figure out just what we do know, why we wish we knew more, and question just how much knowing more about the man would illuminate (or not) his plays and poetry.
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