my take: this year for Book Chicks we wanted something slightly more exciting and engaging in the biography/autobiography category. And this was highly recommended on NPR. And very scholarly. And long. This was not the fun biography we had hoped for.

That said, the author adroitly places William Shakespeare in his time and surmises a life for the prolific man who left no words of his own about his life in the late 1500’s. I forced myself to read a chapter a day – it’s a bit like college reading – and it worked well as each chapter jumps off from a fact or document of the playwright. Excellent history lesson!

We were lucky enough at Book Chicks to have a delightful Shakespearean professor from GVSU come to help us discuss and, lo and behold, enjoy the book. She tells us that this is the Cadillac of Shakespearean scholarly works and the author the forerunner of New Historicism, a blend of history and fiction.

{I recommend watching several Shakespeare plays before reading. Watching Shakespeare in Love might be a fun contrast to the book.}

my source: Book Chicks biography pick

my recommend: total Shakespeare freaks

my rating: Another book I’m glad to have read & feel smugly smart about. As we say at our house, “you gotta want it.”