Tuesday, November 10, 2009
In Which I Resort to a Book Review
I've spent the last week or so devouring "Will in the World." It's billed as a biography of William Shakespeare, but as so much of Shakespeare's life is speculation and guesswork, the book ends up being more a chronicle of the world in which Shakespeare lived and worked. The author speculates about how the events and attitudes of Elizabethan England may have influenced Shakespeare's writing. Although a familiarity with Shakespeare's most popular plays is definitely helpful in following the author's arguments for how each work was shaped, it is by no means necessary.
When I started this book, I thought it would be a waste with too much speculation - "Shakespeare may have done... may have seen... may have thought...." But as the narrative unfolded, I became entranced with how the author wove together a narrative based equally on Shakespeare's words and the historical records of the world in which he lived.
All in all, a fascinating read!
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