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Shakespeare: The Biography
Peter Ackroyd
2005
Peter Ackroyd's marvellous biography is a living attempt to reach into the world and heart of Shakespeare. He creates an intimate and immediate connection with his subject, so that the book reads like the work of a contemporary - meeting Shakespeare afresh on his own ground. This biography is neither an academic description nor a didactic analysis. Written with intuition and imagination unique to Peter Ackroyd, a book by a writer about a writer, brilliant and straightforward, it vividly presents the reader with the circumstances of Shakespeare's life and art.
Shakespeare: The Life, the Works, the Treasures
Catherine M.S. Alexander
2007
Produced in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and beautifully illustrated with both contemporary pictures from Shakespeare's time and photographs of RSC performances, this book brings the poet's life alive. It delves into the likely sources that inspired him to write his masterpieces and assesses the influences of subsequent generations of performers who have shown the 'infinite variety' with which Shakespeare's work can be adapted for all forms of media. This book is unique in containing 30 items of removable facsimile memorabilia.
Globe: Life in Shakespeare's London
Catharine Arnold
2015
Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard's own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist's eye for detail with a historian's grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre in Shoreditch, of the terrible night in 1613 when the Globe caught fire, how, rebuilt, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare's genius until it was destroyed in 1642, and how, finally, Shakespeare's Globe opened once more upon the Bankside.
White Hart Red Lion
Nick Asbury
2013
Nick Asbury acted in the Royal Shakespeare Company's famed Histories cycle which staged Shakespeare's vision of the deposition of Richard II through to the notorious Battle of Bosworth in 1485. With fellow RSC actors for company, Nick Asbury travels the country visiting the buildings, landscapes and former sites of war and intrigue that feature in the plays, and asks the question: what is it about the England of Shakespeare's Histories that continues to fascinate? This is his snapshot of England and its people, then and now.
Exit Pursued By a Badger
Nick Asbury
2013
Nick Asbury was in the ensemble from the RSC who, over the course of two and a half years, performed eight history plays by Shakespeare in repertory. Through Nick's engaging, observant, often hilarious words, we experience the camaraderie of actors, the terror of forgetting lines, technical difficulties, money problems, finding strange things in the bath, thirty-three broadsword fights and, of course, the ever-present threat of being assaulted by demented badgers after a performance. This is a terric true story of actors at work and Shakespeare in performance.
 

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Playing Shakespeare
John Barton
1984
John Barton attempts a reasonably objective analysis of how Shakespeare's text actually works, examining the use of verse and prose, set speeches and soliloquies, language and character. He also concentrates on the more subjective areas such as irony and ambiguity, passion and coolness. The book springs from a tv series, in which these various topics were investigated by Barton and a group of Shakespearean actors. Useful for actors and scholars, this book will also aid teachers and students working on Shakespeare's plays in the classroom.
Soul of the Age
Jonathan Bate
2008
How did plague turn Shakespeare from a hack into a courtly poet? How did Bottom's dream rewrite the Bible? How did Shakespeare's plays lead to the deaths of an earl and a king? Why was he the one dramatist of his time never to be imprisoned? Weaving a dazzling tapestry of Elizabethan beliefs and obsessions, private passions and political intrigues, Jonathan Bate's Soul of The Age leads us on a breathtaking tour of the extraordinary, colourful and often violent world that shaped and informed Shakespeare's thinking.
The Genius of Shakespeare
Jonathan Bate
2008
Who was Shakespeare? Why has his writing endured? What makes it so endlessly adaptable to different times and cultures? And how has Shakespeare come to be such a powerful symbol of genius? The Genius of Shakespeare is a fascinating biography of the life - and afterlife - of the greatest English poet. Jonathan Bate, one of the world's leading Shakespearean scholars, deftly shows how the legend of Shakespeare's genius was created and sustained, and how it has become a truly global phenomenon. This is the best book about Shakespeare for a generation.
How the Classics Made Shakespeare
Jonathan Bate
2019
Ben Jonson accused Shakespeare of having "small Latin and less Greek." He was exaggerating. Shakespeare was steeped in the classics. Shaped by his grammar school education in Roman literature, history, and rhetoric, he moved to London, a city that modeled itself on ancient Rome. He worked in a profession that had inherited the conventions and forms of classical drama, and he read deeply in Ovid, Virgil, and Seneca. Jonathan Bate, one of the world’s leading authorities on Shakespeare, offers groundbreaking insights into how the classics made Shakespeare the writer he became.
William Shakespeare: Complete Works
Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen (editors)
2007
The text in this edition is based on the 1623 First Folio, the first and original Complete Works lovingly assembled and seen into print by Shakespeare's fellow-actors. The First Folio is a literary icon and is the version of Shakespeare's text preferred by many actors and directors. At the request of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen have used the very latest techniques and research to correct the errors and variations found in the early printed copies and to present the First Folio for modern readers.
This Wide and Universal Theater
David Bevington
2007
This book explores how Shakespeare’s plays were produced both in his own time and in succeeding centuries. Making use of historical documents and the playscripts themselves, Bevington brings Shakespeare’s original stagings to life. He explains how the Elizabethan playhouse conveyed a sense of place using minimal scenery. He then shows the lengths to which 18th- and 19th-century companies went to produce spectacular effects. Finally, he considers recent productions on both stage and screen, when character and language have taken precedence over spectacle.
Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Harold Bloom
1998
In this book Harold Bloom expounds a brilliant and far-reaching critical theory: that Shakespeare was, through his dramatic characters, the inventor of human personality as we have come to understand it. In short, Shakespeare invented our understanding of ourselves. In a chronological survey of each of the plays, Bloom explores the supra-human personalities of Shakespeare’s great protagonists. They represent the apogee of Shakespeare’s art, that art which is Britain’s most powerful and dominant cultural contribution to the world.
The Shakespeare Trail
Zoe Bramley
2015
This fascinating book takes the reader from the place of Shakespeare's birth at Stratford-upon-Avon all the way to London, the beating heart of Early Modern theatreland. On the way, well-known locations such as Anne Hathaway’s cottage and the Globe Theatre are uncovered, but also some surprising nooks and crannies in a place Shakespeare knew well – the old City of London. Packed with walking tours, visitor information, maps and photographs, The Shakespeare Trail will open the door to Will from Stratford by guiding you to the places he knew.
The Quality of Mercy
Peter Brook
2013
In this book one of the world's most revered theatre directors reflects on a fascinating variety of Shakespearean topics. In this sequence of essays Peter Brook debates such questions as who was the man who wrote Shakespeare's plays, why Shakespeare is never out of date, and how actors should approach Shakespeare's verse. He also revisits some of the plays which he has directed with notable brilliance. Taken as a whole, this short but immensely wise book offers an illuminating and provocative insight into a great director's relationship with our greatest playwright.
Shakespeare: The World as a Stage
Bill Bryson
2007
Examining centuries of myths, half-truths and downright lies, Bill Bryson tries to make sense of the man behind the masterpieces. In a journey through the streets of Shakespeare's time, he brings to life the hubbub of Elizabethan England and a host of characters along the way. Bryson celebrates the glory of Shakespeare's language and delights in details of his fall-outs and folios, poetry and plays. Stitching together information from a vast array of sources, he has created a unique celebration of one of the most significant, and least understood, figures in history.
Nothing Like the Sun
Anthony Burgess
1964
The life and loves of Shakespeare have been open to as much speculation as his work. Did he really love Anne Hathaway, and was the Earl of Southampton just a friend? Anthony Burgess takes on the Bard in a vivid and lusty novel. This is a magnificent, bawdy telling of Shakespeare's love life. Starting with the young Will, the novel is a romp that follows Will's maturation into sex and writing. It is at the same time a serious look at the forces that midwife art, the effects of time and place, and the ordinariness that is found side by side with extraordinariness of genius.
Shakespeare
Anthony Burgess
1970
Among Shakespeare's many biographers none brings to his subject more passion and feeling for the creative act than Anthony Burgess. He breathes life into Shakespeare the man and invigorates his times. His portrait of the age builds upon an almost personal tenderness for Shakespeare and his contemporaries (especially Ben Jonson), and on a profound sense of literary and theatrical history. Anthony Burgess's well-known delight in language infuses his own writing about Shakespeare's works. And in the verve of his biography he conveys the energy of the Elizabethan age.

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Roaring Boys
Judith Cook
2004
In the late 1580s a new kind of entertainment flowered in London: professional theatre, with its custom built playhouses, professional companies, incredible staging and, last but not least, the new writers, poets, playwrights - the roaring boys. To ambitious young writers, London was a magnet offering the possibility of fame, excitement, wealth and opportunity beyond their wildest dreams. This lively and engaging book, packed with anecdote, recreates the lives and times of these playwrights and actors, and the world in which they lived.
Searching for Shakespeare
Tarnya Cooper, Stanley Wells and James Shapiro
2006
This book looks at six contested portraits of William Shakespeare and examines their authenticity. Stanley Wells and James Shapiro piece together Shakespeare's personal and professional life, while Tarnya Cooper explores contemporary understanding of portraiture and Shakespeare's interest in the visual arts. Richly illustrated with portraits, costumes, manuscripts and maps, this book provides fascinating insights into the life of Shakespeare, as well as into the lives of his fellow actors, entertainers and playwrights, and of his patrons and audiences.
Shakespeare in London
Hannah Crawforth, Sarah Dustagheer and Jennifer Young
2015
Shakespeare in London offers an engaging reading of some of Shakespeare's major work. The focus of the book is on Shakespeare's London, how it influenced his drama and how he represents it on stage. Taking readers on an imaginative journey through the city, the book moves both chronologically, from beginning to end of Shakespeare's dramatic career, and also geographically, traversing London from west to east. Each chapter focuses on one play and one key location, drawing out the thematic connections between that place and the drama it underwrites.
Shakespeare on Toast
Ben Crystal
2008
This book knocks the stuffing from the staid old myth of Shakespeare, revealing the man and his plays for what they really are: modern, thrilling and uplifting drama. Actor and author Ben Crystal brings the bright words and colourful characters of the world's greatest hack writer brilliantly to life, handing over the key to Shakespeare's plays, unlocking the so-called difficult bits and finding Shakespeare's own voice amid the poetry. Told in five Acts, this book sweeps the cobwebs from the Bard revealing both the man and his work to be relevant, accessible and full of beans.
Shakespeare's Words
David & Ben Crystal
2002
This book is for people who love Shakespeare, or who love language, or both. The authors have created an immensely practical and enlightening guide to understanding Shakespeare's language for readers, audiences, students, directors and actors. They have collected over 14,000 words that can cause difficulty or be ambiguous to the modern reader. Each word is glossed and illustrated by at least one quotation. This book will greatly enrich every reader's understanding and appreciation of the plays, and will encourage a new generation to treasure them.
Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary
David & Ben Crystal
2015
This dictionary is the first of its kind, a brand new illustrated alphabetical dictionary of all the words and meanings students of Shakespeare need to know. Every word has an example sentence selected from the twelve most studied plays. Usage notes and theatre notes provide additional background to Shakespearean times and the performance of his plays. Further support is provided by language panels on select topics like the humours, swearing, and stage directions, and full-colour illustrated thematic spreads on special feature topics.

 --- D ---

The Landscape of William Shakespeare
Michael Justin Davis
1987
This book reveals Shakespeare's Britain. There is his birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon, and London, where he spent most of his life writing and performing plays. But there are also the many towns where his touring company performed his works: Rye, Dover, Bath, Oxford, Coventry, to name but a few. All these places are described in relevant detail in the book. There are buildings and landscapes that enable us to reconstruct, with the use of specially commissioned photographs by Simon McBride, the Elizabethan world in which Shakespeare lived.
The Shakespeare Almanac
Gregory Doran
2009
This book is a cornucopia of intriguing and wonderful details about the life and times of England's greatest playwright, complete with integrated illustrations. It is a day by day calendar of Shakespeare's year. It follows the rural farming cycle of lambing to sheep-shearing to harvest home, as they are referred to in Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Every passing month is supplied with quotations from the plays about changeable weather patterns, or the flowers and plants as they appear, as well as the animals and birds he saw around him.
Will & Me
Dominic Dromgoole
2006
Shakespeare has always been part of Dominic Dromgoole's life. From school plays to adolescent angst, from his love of Stratford to his experiences as a director, the shadowy figure of the Bard has always been there. Here Dromgoole recounts the story of his life through Shakespeare, and in turn shows us what Shakespeare can tell us about the world. A poignant, revealing and often bawdy book, by turns soliloquy, tragedy and comedy, Will & Me is a glorious appreciation of how a life can be illuminated through encounters with Shakespeare's rough and ready genius.
Hamlet: Globe to Globe
Dominic Dromgoole
2017
Two years, 190,000 miles, 197 countries, one play. For the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the Globe Theatre in London undertook an unparalleled journey to share Hamlet with the entire world. The tour was the brainchild of Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of the Globe, and in Hamlet: Globe to Globe, Dromgoole takes readers along with him on this wildly ambitious expedition. He recounts the highs and lows of the tour, paying witness to Shakespeare’s power to transcend borders and bring the world closer together.
Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life
Katherine Duncan-Jones
2001
This major biography of Shakespeare shows him as a man among men and a writer among writers. He lives in a congested city, where he encounters disease, debt and cut-throat competition. His brilliance often makes him the object of envy and malice rather than adulation. He is a shrewd purchaser of property. He appears to be more interested in relationships with well-born young men than with women. Katherine Duncan-Jones takes us through the complexities of life in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean England in a compelling and well-told story.
Essential Shakespeare Handbook
Leslie Dunton-Downer and Alan Riding
2004
This is a beautifully illustrated guide to every play in the Shakespearean canon. Each of the categories – histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances – commences with an essay that explains the nature of the genre and discusses the themes and ideas that lay behind the poet's words. An analysis of each play follows: a look at the sources that inspired it, an act-by-act plot outline, a list of the dramatis personae, ideas to ponder when reading/seeing the play, and, finally, a discussion of issues associated with the play and its productions.

 --- E ---

Walking with William Shakespeare
Anne-Marie Edwards
2005
Walk with William Shakespeare through his world, enjoying his plays, poetry and scenes from his life. Visit his home in Stratford and ramble through the countryside he knew and loved. Roam the Cotswold hills where he probably taught school, and discover how he learned courtly ways as you visit the Earl of Southampton's mansion near Titchfield in Hampshire. Explore London, the scene of his greatest triumphs. Maps and full directions for all walks are included with fascinating forays into Shakespeare's life.
The Truth About William Shakespeare
David Ellis
2012
How can biographies of Shakespeare continue to appear when so little is known about him? And when what is known has been in the public domain for so long? In the past decade, the majority of these biographies have been published by distinguished Shakespeareans - shouldn't they know better? To solve this puzzle, David Ellis looks at the methods that Shakespeare's biographers have used to hide their lack of knowledge. At the same time it asks what kind of animal 'biography' really is and how it should be written.
 

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Shakespeare: The Animated Tales
Leon Garfield
1992
Here, in one volume, are six of William Shakespeare's most popular works, abridged by Leon Garfield and illustrated by the Russian artists responsible for the animation of a superb and innovative television series which was made with the express purpose of bringing Shakespeare to a wider audience. With the assistance of scholars Stanley Wells and Rex Gibson, Leon Garfield has skilfully adapted Shakespeare's original text to appeal to younger readers, and in so doing has produced a volume as enthralling, entertaining and exciting as any performance on stage.
Will in the World
Stephen Greenblatt
2004
Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world's greatest playwright. Stephen Greenblatt recovers the links between Shakespeare and his world and gives us a full and vital portrait of the man. He takes us on a journey through Shakespeare's unfolding imagination and humanity - his ability to enter into his characters, to confer upon them his own strength of spirit and to make them live and breathe as independent human beings.
Shakespeare's Wife
Germaine Greer
2007
Germaine Greer combines literary-historical techniques with documentary evidence about life in Stratford, striving to re-embed the story of Shakespeare's marriage in its social context. Her book presents a new and more fruitful set of hypotheses about the life and career of the farmer's daughter who married our greatest poet. This is a compelling, insightful book, which already goes some way to right the wrongs done to Anne Shakespeare. Greer steps off the well-trodden paths of orthodoxy, asks new questions and opens new fields of investigation and research.

 --- H ---

Shakespeare and Elizabeth
Helen Hackett
2009
Helen Hackett follows the history of meetings between Shakespeare and Elizabeth through historical novels, plays, paintings, and films. Raising intriguing questions about the boundaries separating scholarship and fiction, she looks at biographers and critics who continue to delve into links between the queen and the poet. She uncovers the reasons behind the lasting appeal of their combined reputations, and she locates the interest in their enigmatic sexual identities, as well as in the ways they represent political tensions and national aspirations.
Studying Shakespeare on Film
Maurice Hindle
2007
This book provides students with a 'hands-on' introductory guide to this relatively new domain of Shakespeare studies. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book consists of five stimulating parts. At every stage students are given the critical knowledge and vocabulary to analyse and discuss Shakespeare on screen. With a helpful Glossary of Terms, Further Reading and List of Useful Websites to aid study, this is an essential resource for anyone with an interest in the various film and television representations of Shakespeare's plays.
The Norton Facsimile of the First Folio
Charlton Hinman (editor)
1996
Based on Folios in the Folger collection, this full-size photographic facsimile of one of the essential books of English literature and culture has won the admiration of actors and scholars throughout the world. It is the first facsimile in which every page is a clean, clear replica with minimal show-through and offers the latest, most corrected state of pages. This exquisite edition introduced the standard system of reference, "through line numbering," based on the lines printed in the 1623 edition rather than on the acts, scenes, and lines of a modern edition.
Nine Lives of William Shakespeare
Graham Holderness
2011
This new biography of Shakespeare identifies and expounds the many possible 'lives' that can reasonably be drawn around the basic facts, traditions and literary remains of his legacy. Graham Holderness takes a hard and fresh look at the facts, the traditions, and the possible relations between a life and the works that life created. He offers nine possible short 'lives' of Shakespeare, based on specific facts and traditions, drawn from the documentary record and from biographical interpretation, and supported by a body of critical and biographical work.
   

 --- I ---

Presenting Shakespeare
Mirko Ilic and Steven Heller
2015
In the 400 years since his death, Shakespeare's exalted place in the pantheon of theatre and poetry has been unequaled. Just as centuries of theatrical artists have reimagined his works through the lens of their own time and culture, so too have illustrators and designers. This is the first book ever to showcase theatre posters for Shakespeare's plays. They have been designed by an international roster of artists representing 56 countries. This stunning selection of the best in Shakespeare posters was chosen from the collections of museums, theatres, and individuals.
   

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Shakespeare's Language
Frank Kermode
2000
At a time when most critics seem more concerned with theories of politics and psychology than with poetry, Frank Kermode takes us back to the essence of Shakespeare - his words. Shakespeare's revolutionary use of language is where the true power of his plays lies. Yet how could he be so wildly experimental with the English language and still remain a popular dramatist? If we sometimes find his plays hard to understand today, was it any easier for an Elizabethan theatregoer? This study distils a lifetime's thinking to unlock the secrets of Shakespeare's 'wild and whirling words'.
Shakespeare Our Contemporary
Jan Kott
1965
This is a new and brilliantly original interpretation of Shakespeare which has already influenced directors of Shakespeare's plays in Europe and America. For Jan Kott, a Pole who suffered both the Nazi terror and the Stalinist repression, the violence of Shakespeare's world offers many close parallels to our own. He sees Hamlet and Prospero not as romantic characters, but as modern man facing the despair that so many of his contemporaries have known. This is the best, the most alive, radical book about Shakespeare in at least a generation.
 

 --- L ---

Shakespeare: Court, Crowd and Playhouse
François Laroque
1993
A universal master whose achievement is timeless, Shakespeare is nevertheless inseparable from his age - the brilliant pageant of Elizabethan England, glorified by Queen and courtiers, soldiers and explorers, Renaissance poets and scholars. Theatrical professional and consummate dramatist, Shakespeare wove the human comedy being played all around him into masterpieces which have shaped the English language to this day. The author of this book teaches English literature at the university of the Sorbonne nouvelle in Paris.
   

 --- M ---

Shakespeare's Restless World
Neil MacGregor
2012
This book uncovers the extraordinary stories behind twenty objects to re-create Shakespeare's world and the minds of his audiences. The objects range from the rich to the very humble. Each of them allows MacGregor to explore one of the themes which defines the Shakespearean age - globalization, reformation, plague, Islam, magic and many others. The author weaves Shakespeare's words into his histories of the objects to suggest where Shakespeare's ideas may have come from. The result is a fresh and unexpected portrait of Shakespeare's world.
Shakespeare in Ten Acts
Gordon McMullan and Zoë Wilcox (editors)
2016
The 400 years since Shakespeare's death have seen his plays banished and bowdlerized, faked and forged, traded and translated, re-mixed and re-cast. Each performance discussed here holds up a mirror to the era in which it was performed. It explores productions as diverse as Peter Brook's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mark Rylance’s Twelfth Night, and a Shakespeare forgery from 1796. The illustrations - treasures from the British Library's manuscript and rare book collections - feature alongside film stills, costumes, paintings and production photographs.
The Best-Loved Plays of Shakespeare
Jennifer Mulherin and Abigail Frost
1993
This is an exquisitely illustrated book containing the stories of ten of Shakespeare's most popular plays. There is a description of each of the plays' main characters and a series of essays that aim to give background information about the Elizabethan period and the writing of the plays themselves. Wonderful watercolour illustrations showing key events in the plot or particular character traits provide the perfect accompaniment to the text which is peppered with quotes from the original plays providing a real flavour of Shakespeare's language.

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The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street
Charles Nicholl
2007
In this subtle and atmospheric exploration of William Shakespeare at forty, we see him not from the viewpoint of literary greatness, but in the humdrum and very human context of Silver Street, where to the maid of the house he was merely "one Mr Shakespeare", renting the room upstairs. Charles Nicholl applies a powerful biographical magnifying glass to a fascinating but oddly neglected episode in Shakespeare's life. By opening up an unexpected window into the dramatist's famously obscure life-story, the writer has created a fresh and original book about Shakespeare.
How to Do Shakespeare
Adrian Noble
2010
Adrian Noble has worked on Shakespeare with everyone from Oscar-nominated actors to groups of schoolchildren. Here he draws on several decades of top-level directing experience to shed new light on how to bring some of theatre's seminal texts to life. He shows you how to approach the perennial issues of performing Shakespeare, including: Wordplay, Dialogue, Building a character, and Shape and structure. This guided tour of Shakespeare's complex but unfailingly rewarding work stunningly combines instruction and inspiration.
Shakespeare the Thinker
A.D. Nuttall
2007
This elegantly written study of Shakespeare's thought is a marvellous inquiry into the questions that engrossed the playwright throughout his life. Nuttall investigates the dynamic nature of Shakespeare's evolving answers and provides for twenty-first century readers an unparalleled guide to Shakespeare's plays. The delight of Nuttall's book springs not just from the incisiveness of his ideas but from the deftness with which he unfolds scenes and speeches. It is like walking through the countryside with someone who recognizes every bird's song and each wild flower.
The Late Mr Shakespeare
Robert Nye
1999
From a dingy attic above a brothel in Restoration London, aged actor Pickleherring tells all that's fit to know - and much that's not - about the life of the Bard. A child actor in Shakespeare's troupe, Pickleherring has heard every salacious story about the playwright's life - and is generous-spirited enough to repeat them all. From his vantage point as one of Shakespeare's favourite actors, Pickleherring has the answers to every question ever asked about his mentor. Audacious, bawdy and jaw-droppingly ingenious, this book is a bravura performance by one of our finest living novelists.
   

 --- O ---

Hamnet
Maggie O'Farrell
2020
Drawing on the author's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, Hamnet is a luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time. The novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes Hathaway, a woman intriguingly absent from history.
   

 --- P ---

Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets
Don Paterson
2010
In this illuminating and often irreverent guide, Don Paterson offers a fresh and direct approach to the Sonnets, asking what they can still mean to the twenty-first century reader. In a series of fascinating commentaries placed alongside the poems themselves, Don Paterson discusses the meaning, technique, hidden structure and feverish narrative of the Sonnets, as well as the difficulties they present for the modern reader. Most importantly, however, he looks at what they tell us about William Shakespeare the lover - and what they might still tell us about ourselves.
Sweet William
Michael Pennington
2012
Michael Pennington's solo show about Shakespeare, Sweet William, has been acclaimed throughout Europe and in the US as a unique blend of showmanship and scholarship. In this book he deepens his exploration of Shakespeare's life and work and the connection between the two that lies at its heart. It is illuminated throughout by the unrivalled insights into the plays that Pennington has gained from the twenty thousand hours he has spent working on them as a leading actor, an artistic director and a director, and as the author of three previous books on individual Shakespeare plays.
 

 --- R ---

The Shakespeare Thefts
Eric Rasmussen
2011
The 750 copies of William Shakespeare's First Folio have been sought after by kings, earls, and bibliophiles. In his effort to track down the extant 232 copies Eric Rasmussen embarked on an incredible adventure around the world. This fascinating account explores how manuscript hunters identify a book's past through distinguishing marks and how a book's location and condition can reveal its story. Part literary detective story, part Shakespearean lore, The Shakespeare Thefts is a rare glimpse between the covers of one of the most coveted books in the world.
Walking Shakespeare's London
Nicholas Robins
2004
This book brings together 20 walks exploring 16th century London. They cover the whole of Central London from Shoreditch to Deptford. As well as exploring the London that Shakespeare knew, the walks also cover the theatres of modern London, where great directors have succesfully staged Shakespeare's plays over many centuries. This guide is illustrated with specially-commissioned full-colour photographs and is enriched with atmospheric 16th century engravings. Each walk is supported with an easy-to-follow map highlighting places of interest along each route.
The Shakespeare Wars
Ron Rosenbaum
2006
Ron Rosenbaum gives us a Shakespeare book like no other. Rather than raking over worn-out fragments of biography, Rosenbaum focuses on cutting-edge controversies about the true source of Shakespeare's enchantment and illumination - the astonishing language itself. With quicksilver wit and provocative insight, Rosenbaum takes readers into the midst of fierce battles among the most brilliant Shakespearean scholars and directors over just how to delve deeper into the Shakespearean experience - deeper into the mind of Shakespeare.
100 Shakespeare Films
Daniel Rosenthal
2007
Shakespeare's plays have inspired spaghetti Westerns and British Oscar-winners, Bollywood thrillers and Soviet epics. Covering twenty plays, this selection of 100 Shakespeare films spans a century of cinema, from a silent The Tempest (1907) to Kenneth Branagh's As You Like It (2006). The introduction traces the history of screen Shakespeare and analyses the pros and cons of adaptation. Presented alphabetically by Shakespeare play, each chapter begins with a synopsis. The film essays explore cinematography, design, dialogue, music and performance.
The Life and Times of Shakespeare
Maria Pia Rosignoli
1968
If it is impossible to describe in a few words Shakespeare's genius, we can try to sum up briefly the information gathered on his work, his period and, from what little has been recorded, the life of the dramatist. His main feature seems to be a very great understanding of man - his life, his pain, his 'life sickness'. To this we can add his extraordinary ability to express anything poetically and directly. He did not travel the world, but he gave life to a world of which he was the sole creator. In the words of Ben Jonson: "He was not of an age but for all time."
A History of Shakespeare on Screen
Kenneth S. Rothwell
2004
This book chronicles how film-makers have re-imagined Shakespeare's plays from the earliest exhibitions in music halls and nickelodeons to today's multi-million dollar productions shown in megaplexes. Topics include the silent era, Hollywood in the Golden Age, the films of Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles, television - including the BBC plays -, the avant-garde cinema of Jarman and Greenaway, and non-Anglophone contributions from Japan and elsewhere. This second edition updates the chronology to the year 2003 and includes a new chapter on recent films.
Will
Christopher Rush
2007
In this unforgettable blend of scholarship and imagination poet and novelist Christopher Rush takes us right into the mind of the Bard, a man whose almost superhuman art was forged from very human frailties and misfortunes. Cutting through all the pieties which encrust Shakespeare, Rush has created an utterly convincing figure, irrepressible, bawdy, witty and wise, his every word steeped in the situations and phrases of his own plays, yet tormented by the question whether his towering talent was a blessing or a curse. His captivating voice speaks to us across 400 years.
   

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The Nation's Favourite Shakespeare
Emma Shackleton (editor)
1999
William Shakespeare is one of the most enduring and influential writers of all time. This delightful celebration of his work brings together over a hundred best-loved speeches, scenes and sonnets, all of which are guaranteed to appeal both to seasoned Shakespeare enthusiasts and to the uninitiated alike. Here are many old favourites to be re-discovered: Romeo's wonderfully romantic accolade to Juliet's beauty, Macbeth's haunted musings after killing Duncan, Henry V's rousing and poignant battle speech to his troops, and Shakespeare's most romantic sonnets.
1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
James Shapiro
2005
How did Shakespeare become one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In one exhilarating year, 1599, we follow what he read and wrote, what he saw and who he worked with as he invested in the new Globe theatre and created four of his most famous plays. James Shapiro illuminates not only Shakespeare's staggering achievement but also what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599. This book brings the news and intrigue of the times together with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman and playwright.
1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear
James Shapiro
2015
1606 is an intimate portrait of one of Shakespeare's most inspired moments: the year of King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. James Shapiro deftly demonstrates how these extraordinary plays responded to the tumultuous events of this year, events that in unexpected ways touched upon Shakespeare's own life: the return of the plague, the prospect of a united Britain, and the Gunpowder Plot. By immersing us in Shakespeare's England, 1606 profoundly changes and enriches our experience of his plays.
Contested Will
James Shapiro
2010
For 200 years after Shakespeare's death, no one thought to argue that somebody else had written his plays. Since then dozens of rival candidates have been proposed as their true author. This book unravels the mystery of when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote the plays. James Shapiro's fascinating search for the source of this controversy retraces a path strewn with fabricated documents, calls for trials, false claimants, concealed identity, bald-faced deception and a failure to grasp what could not be imagined.
Woza Shakespeare!
Antony Sher and Gregory Doran
1996
In 1995 the renowned actor Antony Sher made his professional stage debut in his native South Africa, playing Titus Andronicus in a production directed by his partner Gregory Doran. Woza Shakespeare!, which tells the story of this production, is hair-raising, moving and funny. As Sher and Doran hand the story-telling back and forth, fascinating portraits emerge of their relationship, both professional and personal; of the production's multi-racial cast; of theatre in South Africa as it emerges from the dark ages of apartheid; and of Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedy.
Year of the King
Antony Sher
2004
Antony Sher's stunning performance for the Royal Shakespeare Company as a Richard III on crutches - the so-called 'bottled spider' - won him both the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor. This book records - in the actor's own words and drawings - the making of this historic theatrical event. This new edition is published on the twentieth anniversary of the premiere. It includes a new introduction in which Sher looks back somewhat bemusedly at how much has happened to him and to the world in the intervening years.
Year of the Fat Knight
Antony Sher
2015
This is Antony Sher's account - supplemented by his own paintings and sketches - of researching, rehearsing and performing one of Shakespeare's best-known and most popular characters, Falstaff. He tells us how he had doubts about playing the part at all, how he sought to reconcile Falstaff's obesity, drunkenness, cowardice and charm, how he wrestled with the fat suit needed to bulk him up, and how he explored the complexities and contradictions of this comic yet often dangerous personality. On the way, Sher paints a uniquely close-up portrait of the RSC at work.
Year of the Mad King
Antony Sher
2018
Antony Sher played Lear in the 2016 RSC production directed by Gregory Doran. Sher kept a diary, capturing every step of his personal and creative journey to opening night. Year of the Mad King is his account of researching, rehearsing and performing what is arguably Shakespeare’s most challenging role, known as the Everest of Acting. His strikingly honest, illuminating and witty commentary provides an intimate, first-hand look at the development of his Lear and of the production as a whole. Also included is a selection of his paintings and sketches.
Shakespeare's First Folio
Emma Smith
2016
This is a biography of a book: the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays printed in 1623 and known as the First Folio. It begins with the story of its first purchaser in London in December 1623, and goes on to explore the ways people have interacted with this iconic book over the 400 years of its history. Throughout, the stress is on what we can learn about the eventful lives of individual copies now spread around the world. From ink blots to pet paws, from annotations to wineglass rings, First Folios teem with evidence of its place in different contexts with different priorities.
This Is Shakespeare
Emma Smith
2019
In this book Emma Smith takes us into a world of politicking and copycatting, as we watch Shakespeare emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd, flirting with and skirting around the cutthroat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval, and technological change. Smith writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity, and sex. Instead of offering the answers, the Shakespeare she reveals poses awkward questions, always inviting the reader to ponder ambiguities.
   

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Shakespeare Revealed
René Weis
2007
René Weis brings Shakespeare the man and his milieu to the fore in a compelling reassessment. Breaking with tradition, he reveals how the plays and poems themselves contain a rich seam of clues about Shakespeare's life, from his heretical dalliances with Catholicism to his grief at the death of his son Hamnet. If there is a code in his works, Shakespeare intended it to be broken. These startling new textual findings are consolidated by scrupulous archival research. This is a bold and provocative book that presents an intimate view of the interior world of a genius.
Shakespeare & Co.
Stanley Wells
2006
In this book Stanley Wells breaks new ground in an engaging and illuminating study of the lives and careers of Shakespeare's contemporaries. Stanley Wells explores the Elizabethan theatrical scene, looks at the great actors Shakespeare worked with, and examines the lives and works of the writers of his day and his later successors. He argues that it is only through remembering and celebrating the sheer richness and variety of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama that we can come to a closer understanding of the shadowy figure of Shakespeare himself.
Shakespeare: For All Time
Stanley Wells
2002
This enthralling and splendidly illustrated book tells the story of Shakespeare's life, his writings and his afterlife. Drawing on a lifetime's experience of studying, teaching, editing and writing about Shakespeare, Stanley Wells combines scholarly authority with authorial flair in a book that will appeal equally to the specialist and the untutored enthusiast. Rich in anecdote and insight, authoritative and informative in equal measure, this magnificent book triumphantly proves Ben Jonson's assertion that his friend Shakespeare "was not of an age, but for all time".
Shakespeare, Sex, & Love
Stanley Wells
2010
Through detailed reference to written sources, Stanley Wells takes us to the brothels, bedchambers, marriages, and divorces of Stratford-upon-Avon; and to the metropolitan buzz of London, including its burgeoning industry in homoerotic publishing. He shows how Shakespeare's attitude to sex developed over the course of his writing career, and explores the multiplicity of ways in which he deploys it: sexual humour; sexual jealousy; sexual experience; same-gender relationships. Through this one perennially enticing subject, Wells brings a myriad of ideas and insights to life.
In Search of Shakespeare
Michael Wood
2003
In this absorbing historical detective story Michael Wood takes a fresh approach to Shakespeare's life, brilliantly recreating the turbulent times through which the poet lived. Wood takes us back into Elizabethan England to reveal a man who is the product of his time - a period of tremendous upheaval that straddled the medieval and modern worlds. This book presents us with a Shakespeare for the twenty-first century: a man of the theatre, a thinking artist, playful and cunning, who held up a mirror to his age, but who was also "not of an age, but for all time".
Screening the Royal Shakespeare Company
John Wyver
2019
No theatre company has been involved in such a broad range of adaptations for television and film as the Royal Shakespeare Company. Drawing on interviews with actors and directors, this book explores this remarkable history of collaborations between stage and screen and considers key questions about adaptation that concern all those involved in theatre, film and television. John Wyver is the television producer of RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon, and so is uniquely well-placed to provide a vivid account of the RSC's television and film productions.



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