Shakespeare: The World as Stage


Bill Bryson is neither an historian nor a Shakespeare scholar, yet his examination of William Shakespeare's life is so forthright and enthusiastic that it hardly matters at all.  In fewer than 200 pages, this biography manages to cover all the documented facts about the bard's life while avoiding too many unfounded theories or digressions.  Shakespeare: The World As Stage matches, to excellent effect, a fascinating life with Bryson's usual wit and levity.

"Shakespeare 'never owned a book,' a writer for the New York Times gravely informed readers in one doubting article in 2002.  The statement cannot actually be refuted, for we know nothing about his incidental possessions.  But the writer might just as well have suggested that Shakespeare never owned a pair of shoes or pants.  For all the evidence tells us, he spent his life naked from the waist down, as well as bookless, but it is probably that what is lacking is the evidence, not the apparel or the books.”

Bill Bryson is the author of various travel books, including A Walk in the Woods and In a Sunburned Country, as well as non-fiction such as At Home and The Mother Tongue.  Bryson currently lives in England with his family.

Published:  2007
Length:  199 pages
Set in:  England