As an English student at university (I even went so far as to get a Master’s), I was, of course, immersed in quite a bit of Shakespeare. When I first started reading his plays over 20 years ago now (GASP!! Really? That long?) – no one bothered to tell me how little we actually know about him. I was fed ‘facts’ about his life — facts that I discovered in later years certainly aren’t beyond doubt. Even this lovely portrait of him that we have all probably come to identify as Will isn’t necessarily him. In fact, there’s very little to tie it to Shakespeare at all.
And now Bill Bryson has leapt into the fray. Personally, I cannot wait to read this new ‘biography’ by Bryson, having read the excerpt printed in The Times recently. Bryson is always always entertaining. When I first moved to Australia over 4 years ago, I devoured ‘In a Sunburned Country’ before getting on the plane. His writing style is incredibly accessible and has more than just a touch of humor. I can’t wait to see how he tackles this ‘scholarly’ subject that in the last decade has come to fascinate many a Shakespeare professor!