Shakespeare (The Illustrated and Updated Edition)

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? After all, the best Shakespeareans are as industrious as their subject, who was the author of 38 plays, two long narrative poems and more than 150 sonnets. (See, for example, the multiple Bard studies apiece by Stanley Wells, Jonathan Bate and Marjorie Garber.) As it turns out, however, this latest book is simply a new, larger edition of Bryson’s prior volume, presented more handsomely and filled with photos and other illustrations.

 

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