Upon learning of Bill Bryson’s new Shakespeare (The Illustrated and Updated Edition), I felt momentarily confused. Had that witty writer of felicitous English prose already composed a new Shakespeare book, fast on the heels of his Shakespeare: The World as Stage, published two years before?
Students of Shakespeare know that the bard didn’t create his material solely out of his own imagination, but instead masterfully recrafted stories that were centuries old. And Shakespeare’s own dramas have been repeatedly reimagined in contemporary settings.
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