Shakespeare: The World as Stage
|Media type||Print (hardcover, paperback), Audiobook|
|822.3/3 B 22|
|LC Class||PR2895 .B79 2007|
Shakespeare: The World as Stage is a biography of William Shakespeare by author Bill Bryson. The 199-page book is part of Harper Collins' series of biographies, "Eminent Lives". The focus of the book is to state what little is known conclusively about Shakespeare, and how this information is known, with some discussion of disproved theories, myths, and that which is believed by the public but not provable. It also explores the political, social, cultural and economic background to Shakespeare's work.
The book is also available as an unabridged audiobook, published by Harper Audio and read by the author.
He also explores Shakespeare's 'lost years'.
Nancy Dalva wrote in the New York Observer: "Right off, the author’s established his blithe and sunny tone: If a trio of witches were cooking up this book in a cauldron, there’d be a pinch of P.G. Wodehouse, a soupçon of Sir Osbert Lancaster and a cup of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One can be firm of purpose and blithe at the same time, it turns out; one can write a seriously entertaining book."
Tom Payne's review in the Telegraph was more critical. Payne thought that the book was "an accessible, sensible" life of Shakespeare but felt that the author should have discussed his personal feelings about the subject. Payne also noted that Bryson provided a significant amount of factual detail concerning Shakespeare's plays and vocabulary but failed to reach any conclusion. The review concluded by stating that the book worked as a companion to other books which examined Shakespeare's body of work but recommended Frank Kermode's The Age of Shakespeare as a superior alternative.
- (3 September 2007). Shakespeare: The World as Stage (review), Publishers Weekly
- "Bryson's Guided Tour of Shakespeare's World—Minus the Man Himself". New York Observer. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
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