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A short life of Shakespeare is particularly appropriate, given how little hard fact is knowable; this one is brief but particularly well suited to this series' format. narrations from the plays alternate here with Elizabethan music and with interesting fact or speculation on Shakespeare's parents, his marriage, and how his characters may have sprung from his surroundings and events of the times. Pearson is particularly good on Shakespeare's relationship with his queen (he did not like being ordered to show Falstaff in love). The commentary on the plays and Elizabethan theater is wise and interesting, if not always conclusive; the narrators of the connective text and the play excerpts are marvelous. A delight.
The plays of William Shakespeare, and his famous lines, are part of the national consciousness. There may be few solid facts about Shakespeare the man, and yet not only do we want to know all about him - we feel, through his plays, we do. In this classic biography, Hesketh Pearson puts his skills as an actor and biography to lively use, looking at the man as much through his worth - the great plays and poems - as through the extant facts. Having heard this affectionate account, you will go back to the plays with more understanding and enjoyment.
© and (P)2001 NAXOS AudioBooks