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‘A delight…A gem of a book.’ Mail on Sunday
‘Witty and infectiously enthusiastic.’ Spectator
'A brilliantly funny and gently insightful travel guide to 16th century England. Bryson is great at picking out of the morass of Elizabethan fact the small details that illuminate and amuse…he also uncovers from the world that surrounded the theatre some fascinating examples of Elizabethan eccentricity…As an abbreviated tour around the world of Shakespeare, this could hardly be bettered.' Sunday Times
‘Bryson uses an inimitably light touch and squeezes a vast subject down to manageable proportions…he is a warm and funny guide through the whole complicated morass of Shakespearean scholarship.’ Financial Times
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 — she spent months in silence at Bacon’s home, ‘absorbing atmospheres’ that bolstered her theory. With shades of his famous travelogues, Bryson records episodes in his research, including a visit to a bunker-like basement 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 a home at the tips of our tongues. His Shakespeare is like no-one else’s — the beneficiary of Bryson’s genial nature, his engaging scepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivalled in our time.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bill Bryson is one of my favourite authors and in "the World as a Stage" he doesn't disappoint,making many interesting revelations about the life and times of our beloved... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Malcolm Billam
Enjoyable read encapsulating so much information about Shakespeare's time.Published 13 days ago by Graham F H Smith
Bryson approaches this subject with his customary humour and intelligence. And while you may not necessarily know more about Shakespeare by the end, you will certainly know all we... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Kath Page
Found it difficult to follow purpose of the book. Perhaps not for my type.Published 26 days ago by Omo