Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shakespeare by Bill Bryson

For someone who is so well known, there is really not much known about Shakespeare. You'd be hard pressed to find a person who didn't know of Shakespeare, which is pretty impressive for a guy who lived in the 1500s.

Bryson is such a good writer when it comes to fleshing out facts into something that is entertaining and memorable. Even he concedes that this is a very short book because if we're going on fact, there isn't much to go on. Shakespeare led a life off the papers, showing up only sometimes in court documents. We know he married young, had children and went to London for the theatre and wrote fantastically brilliant plays. Little else is known but much else is speculated.

Bryson tries to weed fact from fiction in this book and, when laid out as such, it's amazing to me how much is just guessed at about Shakespeare's life.

This is an interesting little book if you like the bard but you won't really learn a lot. But if it's facts you're after, they are here.
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