Scott's Reviews > Shakespeare: The World as Stage

Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
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's review
Mar 17, 2011

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

I love Bryson's genial writing style. This slim volume examines what facts we really have about Shakespeare the man. I knew that we didn't know much, but it's even less than I thought. For example, there are only 3 pictures of Shakespeare from which all others are derived. Two were created several years after his death by indifferent, amateur artists, and there is no evidence that the third is even really him. Also, we don't actually know how many plays he wrote, or what order they were written in with any certainty. There are only a few examples of anything written in Shakespeare's own hand, mostly just signatures on legal documents - and he spelled his name several different ways, in abbreviated form! None of his signatures are spelled "Shakespeare" as we commonly do today. I found the book fascinating, read twice.
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