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I took a chance on this book because, in spite of studying three or four of his plays in high school, I knew almost nothing about Shakespeare or his world. The author's depiction of the social, political and cultural landscape of Elizabethan England may be highly speculative as other reviewers have noted, but I found it interesting and credible. The notion that 15th century political elites were paranoid about the entertaiment industry shows that some things never change. It's easy to picture Shakespeare walking the fine line between political correctness and wicked satire.
The book is beautifully written and read. It's a little deep in places but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This book is outstanding from all key perspectives: it is well-narrated, it is well-written & organized, & it is a compelling piece of historical writing. I am confused by an earlier reviewer's idea that this is a degraded "politically correct" piece of work. I don't see that anywhere in the work. Clearly the author has sought to reconstruct Shakespeare's life & thought through the plays themselves & through historical works about the times in which he lived (historical works where he does not appear), & that is necessary since the track he left to us, 100s of years later, is 99.9% from his plays. But any reader of current literary biography knows that most of what appears in a great writer's work is semi-autobiographical, so there is no crime in speculating from the work-to-the-life. The author makes frequent use of caveats, so there is no attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. And their use enriches the work, it does not detract from it. One of the best books I've gotten from Audible.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful