I enjoyed listening to the author read his own work. This provided a good overview of Shakespeare - life and times. Using a variety of sources, and talking with assorted experts, Bryson presents the listener with the reality of how much we don't know about such a famous historical figure. At 5 discs, it was very easy to get through the entire work (I actually listened to it twice to catch some of the details). Highly recommended as a good introduction to Shakespeare.
As the author states, "This book is short because the facts about William Shakespeare are few." Bryson attempts to find out the truth about Shakespeare's life and finds very little evidence. The Bard's work didn't become prominent until 400 years after his death which left plenty of time for any evidence to be long gone. The author also describes how our modern day "knowledge" is often based on one or two details of a painting or a few lines from a poem. Bryson asserts that Shakespeare was one person. As he points outs, Francis Bacon wouldn't have the time to write in Shakespeare's voice with all his other activities. Some of the most interesting material is his description of earlier Shakespeare "scholars". A worthy addition to the vast numbers of tomes written on Shakespeare.
Superb biography with just the right amount of detail.
IMO. A BB fan & it's well done in research I'd never have known or probably been interested in. Bryson keeps me interested in his writing.
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