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by Catherine Alexander
When Shakespeare wrote that ‘all the world’s a stage’, he could scarcely have imagined that, nearing the 450th anniversary of his birth, his place as our greatest playwright would be so firmly assured. His enduring literary genius is now celebrated in a gorgeously illustrated coffee-table guide to his life and work. Produced in tandem with the Royal Shakespeare Company, it examines the fertile sources of his creative inspiration, explores his canon of work within the context of his times, and offers a stimulating study of his most beloved plays.
There’s also a CD included that offers excerpts from many of his plays plus twenty intriguing facsimile documents containing copies of Shakespeare’s will, an extract from the First Folio of 1623, and King James I’s patent allowing actors the right to perform throughout the land. Finally, a useful timeline chronicles Shakespeare’s output against the backdrop of national and international events of importance unfolding in his lifetime. Andre Deutsch 64pp Hb. GCH125 £30.00