This is a most enjoyable read: amusing, intelligent and entertainingly informative. Bryson brings Shakespeare's London and theatre world alive during this entertaining exploration of the life and works of a man about whom little is actually known.
As with most Bill Bryson books, it shows a great deal of evidence of study of his subject, and is very well written. An emjoyable and informative book. I learned several facts that I had previously not read before.
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Nobody needs to really introduce what this book is about because this is about Shakespeare.
As someone who has read a little bit of Shakespeare, I thought I knew a little bit about the man and his written words. I definitely like Bill Bryson’s style here though as he chisels back the suppositions and hypotheticals of those before him and delivers a piece of writing which establishes Shakespeare in his historical context.
Nobody really knows for sure what Shakespeare looked like by the way, according to the work here. Nobody really knows where he was when he wrote his great works. Shakespeare is acknowledged as a great romantic writer but his own real life romances were probably few in number and perhaps fraught. He was apparently not the standout playwright of his time and his amazing fame today is more about what behavioural economists might call ‘survivor bias’.
Some may read Shakespeare by Bill Bryson and bemoan the scepticism of an idol. For me, this work shows puts him in his historical context and leaves much room for imagination. I am of the view that one can read someone’s work and let it speak for itself anyway. Why do we always need to know so much about an author or an artist? Five Stars.