His travel books have delighted me for years and his books on English usage have also been very amusing and fun. Bill Bryson is an old friend. 2 viewed per hour. A time of plague and early death. This is a very strange and frustrating book: A short, witty, highly readable biography of the Bard by one of the our best beloved writers. A telling glance at one of history’s most famously unknowable figures. Bryson carefully notes fine distinctions between the two. The final chapter of the book examines the occasional academic notion that Shakespeare didn’t write all the material he claimed as his own and reviews some of the leading alternative theories and their attendant problems. It’s funny and informative the way Bryson tells it, and I was in awe of this couple’s dedication; Bryson mentions 10 million documents are archived here. After reading this book I have learned loads about Shakespeare - NOT! SHAKESPEARE THE WORLD AS STAGE BY BILL BRYSON. THE WORLD AS STAGE. Bryson makes some attempt to place Shakespeare’s materials into a general chronological order but does not tackle the thornier issues. If instead of rummaging through tons of printed paper one could find a capsule of uncorrupted and distilled Shakespeare, would you not pick this? Bryson’s novel highlights that we simply don’t know much about him at all. The years melt away and we are there, right in the world of Elizabethan Stratford and London, throwing light on what we do actually know about the life and times and people associated with Shakespeare. I still can’t answer that. The book is divided into chapters that establish what is known and what is generally supposed about several periods in Shakespeare’s life and his environment. Many people speak highly of Bryson. Einstein and Oppenheimer: The Meaning of Genius. Bryson brings a fresh and exciting voice to material that elsewhere is often stale in its presentation. The book under review is provided as a volume in the “Eminent Lives” series of concise biographies by various authors and, as such, conforms to an imposed restriction on length. I had no idea we knew so little about William Shakespeare, where later in the book Bryson says there are a variety of ways his name was spelt back then, two were: Shappere and Shaxberd. Women had to be played by men on the stage,. And there are merits to both viewpoints. I am struggling to recall why exactly I wanted to read this. ARTICLES. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally. In less than 200 pages, one gets a general overview of the possibilities for how Shakespeare’s … If there is a hero it is the duo who gave us the first Folio. Bryson, in this short textbook, covers just about every fact, legend and misconception about Shakespeare and does so with grace and wit. Reading 'Shakespeare The World As Stage', however, one gets the sense that this eclectic Iowan is exactly the type of person the Bard … Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. :). This is a great introduction to Shakespeare and probably one of the best biographies you can read about a man we know so much, yet so little about. He's like the teacher you always hoped to get – the brilliant, funny, cool one who (to use a real example) sat cross-legged on the table at the front of the room and told the most amazing stories and made you sorry when the class was over, rather than the one who turned the lights off and showed irrelevant slides to a group of uninterested and often napping art students at the deadly time of 3:00 in the afternoon. He moved to England, where he worked for The Times and The Independent, and wrote for many major British and American publications. Being a slightly cocky and beligerent teenager I turned in an essay entitled "Why Shakespeare is literatures greatest plagiarist", obviously this was not well received but having read this book I think some of my points were pretty salient. The book starts off with anecdotes, one is from late 1900s of an American couple, Charles and Hulda Wallace, who housed themselves at London’s National Archives to se. Start by marking “Shakespeare: The World as Stage” as Want to Read: Error rating book. One would think that 200 pages covering "nothing" would grow tedious. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Having being forced to study him for A-Level English and worship at the alter of Shakespeare like a good student I was also suprised how little is known about him. Bryson succeeds in fulfilling expectations from the subtitle of "The World As a Stage." This little book represents Bill Bryson's attempt to collect what scant information exists, and to debunk a few spurious claims. What a great entertaining listen! Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. This audiobook was a perfect companion for a long road trip. But why would I want to read a wry Midwesterner on Shakespeare? A freelance writer living in Utah with his wife and kids. To see what your friends thought of this book, I'm really not a fan of Shakespeare but reading this book really did help explain his popularity, at least in my mind. The World as Stage is not one Bill Bryson's more popular textbooks, but it is one his best ones. For example, Shakespeare’s death is presented mostly as an interpretation of his will, as that document has been discovered and can be analyzed objectively. We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. At the outset - if you are looking for a scholarly tome on the life and times of William Shakespeare, you are going to be disappointed. Bryson has written several books, including the prize-winning A Short History of Nearly Everything. The first edition of the novel was published in November 1st 2007, and was written by Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson takes on one of the biggest contributors to the English language. International bestseller Bill Bryson brings us this brilliantly readable biography of the world's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. One of the book’s particular strengths is the development of a sense of time and place surrounding Shakespeare as an individual. ), This overview of Shakespeare’s life improved greatly as the pages increased. Welcome back. I listened to it on my way to work and doing the dishes this week. This 200-page biog contains about as much information as we casual readers need on Shakespeare. Shakespeare The World as Stage (Book) : Bryson, Bill : William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. The aim of this slender book is to collect all of what we know about Shakespeare, which is precious little indeed. After reading this book I have learned loads about Shakespeare - NOT! Having being forced to study him for A-Level English and worship at the alter of Shakespeare like a good student I was also suprised how little is known about him. He was the right age (just two months older than Shakespeare), had the requisite talent, and would certainly have had ample leisure after 1593, assuming he wasn't too dead to work.”, “And there was never a better time to delve for pleasure in language than the sixteenth century, when novelty blew through English like a spring breeze. My best memory of learning about Shakespeare was being asked to write an essay on the use of natural symbolism in "A Winters Tale". Bryson attributes several items within the book, and occasionally textually refers to his sources to establish academic authority on some point. Apparently NOBODY knows anything interesting about Shakespeare's life or personality -- all we have are 3 bad portraits (one sketch from memory, one statue that was whitewashed of all detailed features, and one decent portrait that might be of someone else entirely); a few legal documents (with only 6 signatures, 3 of which may have been forged for him since he was too ill to write much then); almost nothing whatsoever about his wife (except her name and date of death); etc, etc... Nobody even interviewed his surviving relatives and friends about him -- the first biography came out a hundred years after his death and has been proved to be mostly wrong anyway. A lot of biographies can be bogged down by completely unnecessary information which causes the page number to rise to the thousands. He's like the teacher you always hoped to get – the brilliant, funny, cool one who (to use a real example) sat cross-legged on the table at the front of the room and told the most amazing stori. This Shakespeare primer can be easily understood by any high-school level reader, and no prior knowledge of the playwright is required—Bryson even helpfully informs the reader, on page 196, that “William Shakespeare of Stratford was unquestionably” the author of plays and poetry attributed to him, but questioned by some in what is known as “an authorship debate.”. There were no standardized spellings for English words, so a lot of what. I enjoyed the book though, I learnt a lot I didn't know before and I think the autho. The World as Stage. LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers All about Shakespeare: The World as Stage (Eminent Lives) by Bill Bryson. He begins by swiftly establishing the paucity of factual information about Shakespeare such as what he looked like and even where he was for eight years when he left his new-wedded and early-bedded wife and before he surfaced as first an actor and then a playwright in the latter years of Queen Elizabeth I's … If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. I knew the author for his humorous side, and I was intrigued by the gender gap, so I bought it for myself. Shakespeare: The World as Stage is a biography of William Shakespeare by author Bill Bryson. The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 199 pages and is available in Paperback format. Details about SHAKESPEARE THE WORLD AS STAGE BY BILL BRYSON. Shakespeare: The World as Stage (Eminent Lives) by Bill Bryson and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at AbeBooks.com. $7.25. Bryson’s book includes nine named and enumerated chapters and a selected bibliography. It explains why facts are missing, what we can conjecture and why people still read and love his work today. 2,961 reviews. At first, it honestly felt like Mr. Bryson was begrudgingly completing a college research paper and, becoming exasperated by the lack of factual information, instead presented a (very interesting) history of Elizabethan London! Be the first to ask a question about Shakespeare. More By and About This Author. There's nothing wrong with Bryson's writing... but he just doesn't say very much, because there ISN'T anything to say. ... Shakespeare: The World As A Stage by Bryson, Bill Paperback Book The Fast Free. Bill Bryson is the New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods, The Lost Continent, The Mother Tongue, Neither Here Nor There, Made in America, Notes from a Small Island, Notes from a Big Country, Down Under, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Shakespeare: The World as Stage, At Home, and A Short History of Nearly Everything, which was shortlisted for the … Bryson plays detective after explaining that this is not his field and he is sharing his finds of what he discovers by talking to a lot of experts. The years melt away and we are there, right in the world of Elizabethan Stratford and London, throwing light on what we do actually know about the life and times and people associated with Shakespeare. Bill Bryson simply doesn't write like that. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I had no idea we knew so little about William Shakespeare, where later in the book Bryson says there are a variety of ways his name was spelt back then, two were: Shappere and Shaxberd. A mix of bedrock facts, such as Shakespeare’s date of birth—”By tradition it is agreed to be April 23, Saint George’s Day” (p. 24) in 1564—stand alongside humorous observations: “The Droeshout engraving [of Shakespeare].is an arrestingly-we might almost say magnificently-mediocre piece of work” (p. 4). Bryson doesn't go incredibly in-depth with this work but I applaud him on that. It also explores the political, social, cultural and economic background to Shakespeare's work. To create our list,... At first glance, Bill Bryson seems an odd choice to write this addition to the Eminent Lives series. This is middlebrow secondary work, not any sort of textual analysis. What emerges is a lovingly rendered biography of an obviously favorite subject. Bryson is good in describing the sixteenth century world of England. Bill Bryson, in his own inimitable way, takes us through the world of Shakespeare as easily as if he were discussing the latest political controversy. Although the central premise here is that, as Bryson freely acknowledges indeed almost relishes, is that what we do know about the life of William Shakespeare is surprisingly very, very little. For example, Shakespeare’s multi-year absence from the stage is explained by the closure of all London theaters due to the plague. The prose is a well-crafted and playful presentation of the dozen-odd facts known about Shakespeare and many of the suppositions, inferences, and wild speculations about the man and his work. William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, FRS was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. Atlas/HarperCollins $19.95 (199p) ISBN 978-0-06-074022-1. Bill Bryson, in his own inimitable way, takes us through the world of Shakespeare as easily as if he were discussing the latest political controversy. The book reads much as one would expect and holds no surprises of construction, methodology, or presentation. While nothing in the biography is new or even particularly innovative, it is nevertheless an invigorating review of extant data. People didn't reliably keep records 400 years ago. He genuinely loves his subjects, and it is infectious. Bill Bryson is one of my favourite authors. Also I never really appreciated how he changed the way English is spoken, probably because I don't know enough about the history of spoken English. email; X. 10 Things You Might Not Know About Franz Kafka, 10 Things You Might Not Know About René Descartes, 10 Things You Might Not Know About Adam Smith, 10 Things You Might Not Know About William Faulkner, Understanding Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Duck-Rabbit. It runs to 199 pages and has only a handful of footnotes. In summary, Bryson is an endlessly entertaining writer, and Shakespeare: The World as Stage is an outstanding read for anyone who enjoys Shakespearean theater, good writing, or both. Bryson’s strength, then, lies not so much in his Shakespearean expertise but rather in his obvious ability to turn a phrase. It is by choosing a gift to the biography department that my eye has attracted by this little pocket lost in the middle of other historical bios. often turned his attention to his native America during his 20-year residence in England ( Made in America, 1995, etc.). This overview of Shakespeare’s life improved greatly as the pages increased. I'm really not a fan of Shakespeare but reading this book really did help explain his popularity, at least in my mind. He writes in a way that enables we “everymen” to easily access historical and scientific facts. It really isn't a biography,as Shakespeare the man,remains shrouded in mystery.It certainly came as a surprise to me,that practically nothing is known about the man. Those familiar with Shakespeare’s life and times will find the information recast in an enjoyable way, while those unfamiliar with the topic will find the biography intelligible and quite accessible. It is almost impossible to believe that as infamous as the works of William Shakespeare are, there is negligible conclusive information about him. November 1st 2007 Write your own review of Shakespeare by Bill Bryson, ... Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books. :) :) :) It's a bright breezy Big Bill Bryson book about Bill!!!!!!!!!! Bryson’s approach to the Bard was to admit the gaps in his life and rather focus on what we do know, that being the era he lived in, Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Bill Bryson, in his own inimitable way, takes us through the world of Shakespeare as easily as if he were discussing the latest political controversy. The emphasis right from the beginning was how little we actually know about the life of William Shakespeare. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. I can't say I know much more about Sweet Will now than I did before reading the book, but Bryson is not to blame. Bryson throws banal facts into the mix compellingly, too—“Shakespeare’s works contain 138,198 commas, 26,794 colons, and 15,785 question marks” (p. 19). Only one man had the circumstances and gifts to give us such incomparable works, and William Shakespeare of Stratford was unquestionably that man- whoever he was. My best memory of learning about Shakespeare was being asked to write an essay on the use of natural symbolism in "A Winters Tale". Bryson attributes several items within the book, and occasionally textually refers to his sources to establish academic authority on some point. So much of what we think we know about him is drawn from scarce fragmentary evidence and a high proportion of assumption and falsehoods on behalf of even the most preeminent Shakespeare scholars. Bill Bryson, who has now written books on everything from the history of the universe to the origins of our domesticity to America in the 1920s and, perhaps most endearingly, stories of his various travels around the world, here turns his attention to William Shakespeare. $11.69. The 199-page book is part of Harper Collins' series of biographies, "Eminent Lives". It also mentions most plays, several long poems, and a few sonnets; it does not present substantive literary criticism on any of the works, though it does examine some issues of attribution briefly. (I’ve listened to several audiobooks where Bill Bryson reads his own work, so when I read his books, I can hear his voice and imagine his smile while I read.). Critics' Opinion: Readers' rating: Not Yet Rated. Apparently NOBODY knows anything interesting about Shakespeare's life or personality -- all we have are 3 bad portraits (one sketch from memory, one statue that was whitewashed of all detailed features, and one decent portrait that might be of someone else entirely); a few legal documents (with only 6 signatures, 3 of which may have been forged for him since he was too ill to wr. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Did you know Noam Chomsky wrote his first article about the spread of fascism, 309 West 55th Street It was fascinating to learn that most of what has been presented to us as biography is. Shakespeare: The World as stage by bill Bryson Chapter 5 By: Boyd Anthony Campbell. I am not a big fan of either audio books or Shakespeare, but I needed a short something to listen to recently. Shakespeare's biography is sketchy, and ever thus it shall remain. Thankfully (or regretfully, perhaps), I or anyone else is at little risk of having the Bard's work spoilt by too much biographical information of its creator. Mr. Bryson, in typically wry, readable, and exciting form, instead provided a history of the main players in London during Shakespeare’s life then placed the known puzzle pieces into the solid history. Also I never really appreciated how he changed the way English is spoken, probably because I don't know enough about the history of spoken English. So on a trip to the library I chose this one because: people who want to read a book which will teach them nothing in a fun and informative way, Well, that was a quick and easy read, very pleasant too thank you Mr Bryson. Synopsis Chapter 5 was about Shakespeare writing style and were he got help from and were his inspiration has lead him to write great plays. Click to read more about Shakespeare: The World as Stage (Eminent Lives) by Bill Bryson. Everything we know about him seems to be questionable and when you don't know anything conclusive about someone, that leaves a lot up to discussion. by Bill Bryson . Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Shakespeare : The World as Stage by Bill Bryson (2007, Perfect, Large Type / large print edition) at … Bryson is good in describing the sixteenth century world of England. The book starts off with anecdotes, one is from late 1900s of an American couple, Charles and Hulda Wallace, who housed themselves at London’s National Archives to search through hundreds of thousand records. Everything we know about him seems to be questionable and when you don't know anything conclusive about someone, that leaves a lot up to discussion. A time of plague and early death. Join Bill as he takes you on a journey through Elizabethan England, tackling the myths, half-truths and downright lies to make sense of the man behind the masterpieces. I really like Bryson - he has a wonderfully dry sense of humour and at times can have me in stitches laughing. Simply Charly is an original, one-stop portal to a wealth of information about some of the world’s most prominent historical figures. The main characters of this non fiction, biography story are William Shakespeare, . Also I really appreciated that he acknowledged that Shakespeare doesn't make any sense some times because for some reason everyone seems resistant to agreeing when I mention it, but come on some times the writing is incoherent. Refresh and try again. As sometimes happens with expatriates, journalist Bryson ( The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir, 2006, etc.) With candid honesty that permeates his offering, Bryson notes that the world didn’t really need another Shakespeare biography but that the “Eminent Lives” series did. Summary: “Bill Bryson’s biography of William Shakespeare unravels the superstitions, academic discoveries and myths surrounding the life of our greatest poet and playwright.” Age Category: Adult; Type: non-fiction; Genre: historical. Bill Bryson makes the same point at the outset of "Shakespeare: The World as Stage", and then, because he is the writer he is, takes close to 200 pages to cover it. In all of England the population was between 3 and 5 million. Free download or read online Shakespeare: The World as Stage pdf (ePUB) book. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Those of you who are familiar with his oeuvre would know that he is a "love-him-or-hate-him" author: people either love his snarky humour, or hate it with passion. Registration confirmation will be emailed to you. If you like to learn about Shakespeare, you'll love this textbook. “A third...candidate for Shakespearean authorship was Christopher Marlowe. Bryson is straightforward in admitting that no groundbreaking research is presented, but rather the biography gathers the known facts, the supposed facts, and much pithy innuendo into a single engaging and accessible overview. Bryson plays detective after explaining that this is not his field and he is sharing his finds of what he discovers by talking to a lot of experts. This one is somewhat of a departure for Bill Bryson – ‘Shakespeare’ being a biography of sorts and Bryson being overwhelmingly and ostensibly a popular travel writer. His approach to history makes the standard tome all the more flat and dull by comparison – Bryson knows his stuff well enough to not only present it to an audience but to play with it, to have fun with it, to make it fun. I would definitely include it on a list as one of my most enjoyable biographies in recent memory. Being a slightly cocky and beligerent teenager I turned i. As expected, the book presents facts about Shakespeare’s life, work, and environment. Textually refers to his native America during his 20-year residence in England Made. And place surrounding Shakespeare as an individual banned from the Stage, s novel highlights that simply... '' would grow tedious, in 1951 wonderfully dry sense of humour and at Times can have me stitches. 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