For anybody who has ever thought Shakespeare dull or dry, this book is perfect reading! It gives a brief introduction to Shakespeare’s life and work, and provides a short synopsis of all of his plays. It also provides other interesting information such as words that Shakespeare created (assassination, luggage, moonbeam, cater – to name very few of a long list!) and phrases that he coined – if you’ve ever thought of jealousy as a green-eyed-monster for instance, then you have Shakespeare to thank! It also provides a list of all of the main characters in Shakespeare’s plays, and a brief description of their roles.
The book is written in a clear, easy to understand, and often amusing fashion, and even for someone who is not particularly bothered about Shakespeare, it still makes for interesting reading!
As an academic book, I probably would not recommend this – it is really only the briefest introduction to The Bard’s life and work, but if you have ever seen a film adaptation of one of his plays and would like to learn more, this would be a great place to start. It is only a short book – I read it in two sittings, but it could easily be started and finished in a couple of hours. So while it may not cover it’s subject in great depth, it certainly opens the door to learning more about Shakespeare, and left me wanting to know more. Definitely recommended!
(Author’s blog can be found here.)