Publisher's Summary

Shakespeare's life, despite the scrutiny of generations of biographers and scholars, is still a thicket of myths and traditions. Some are preposterous, some are conflicting, all are arranged around the few scant facts known about the Bard, from his birth in Stratford to the bequest of his "second best bed" to his wife when he died.Following his international best-sellers A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson has written a short biography of William Shakespeare for the Eminent Lives series, which seeks to pair great subjects with writers known for their strong sensibilities and sharp, lively points of view.
©2007 Bill Bryson (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ballina Beach on 11-04-2016

Enjoyable, fun, & informative

Bill Bryson has done a terrific job distilling Shakespeare scholarship into a very enjoyable 5 hours. He covers all the big issues & even the silly ones (did Shakespeare really write his plays?). His chapters on the life in London & theatre- going public were fabulous. We even learnt what people could buy for snacks (apples, pears, nuts, ale). Highly recommend this.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Nick B on 08-06-2018

A snappy summary of all there is to know.

There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the identity of William Shakespeare. Bill Bryson does his best to wade through the muck and present the known details. It’s a short and sweet look at a man who is possibly the greatest writer ever, and yet we know so little. Others have commented on Bill’s narration style... I enjoyed his presentation. A great listen.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Russell on 11-10-2009

Not the book you might think it is...

This is a book about Shakespeare the man (and the times he lived in) - it is not a guide to his works. But given that qualification, it is an intriguing account. It flows easily into the ear, constantly asking interesting questions, and answering many. But in the end, we are still left wondering how any person could grasp so much and penetrate so deeply into humankind.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By bill on 24-03-2013

another Bryson best

If you could sum up Shakespeare in three words, what would they be?

a good read

Have you listened to any of Bill Bryson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

as good as 'at home' also excellent work

Any additional comments?

keep up the good work Bill

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Emily on 12-10-2007

cuts through the rubbish

If shakespeare interests you in any way this book is wonderful. Bill Bryson cuts through the mountains of information about the bard and gives you the facts. It is a facinating and informative piece of work which is totally and uttterly enjoyable!

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 22-11-2007

Good Summary

This is a good book for most people who have an interest in Shakespeare. Bryson has put together all that we actually know about Shakespeare and discussed the well known theories that surround him. Well written and informative whilst being interesting and entertaining, as all Bryson's books are.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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