by Bill Bryson
Bryson is a genial fellow, and very few writers do gentle humor better than he does, but this short biography (barely 200 pages) is really just an intro to The Bard.
What’s notable isn’t what we learn about Shakespeare, but how little we learn about Shakespeare. There simply isn’t much in the historical record, and what there is, is often incomplete or vague. Not Bryson’s fault, of course. He obviously loves Shakespeare and that feeling is contagious.
Even so, this is less a book about the great writer and more a picture of what life was like in England 400 years ago. My advice: If you’re really into Shakespeare, find a more substantial book. And if you’re really into Bryson, he has better (and longer) works out there.
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