Britt Keller

Quicklet on Bill Bryson's Shakespeare

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Armed with colorful paintings, drawings, portraits, documents and photographs, Bryson creates a playful narration and careful examination of the elusive, ever-famous playwright in Shakespeare: The Illustrated And Updated Edition. Published in 2009, the book pays homage to William Shakespeares continued and remarkable relevance, especially as his history is rewritten once again.

Bryson originally published in the Fall of 2007 as William Shakespeare: The World As Stage soon became obsolete as a result of a few exciting discoveries: revelation of a portrait, the unearthing of Londons earliest theater in Shoreditch, and rediscovery of missing copy of an original First Folio from the Durham University Library. As such, Bryson was prompted to create a new, updated edition.


With a wide variety of interests, Britt enjoys writing on any number of topics in order to share her understanding and perspective with others. She went to school for design, but has lately become more interested in reading, writing, and philosophy.


Richard Plantagenet Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos Grenvilles earlier life was rather uneventful. The second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, he fathered an illegitimate child in Italy, spoke here and there in Houses of Parliament, and became interested in plumbing. After inheriting his money, titles, and estates in 1839, he managed to lose every last bit within nine years.

Leaving his estate to the creditors, a grand auction was held, one item selling for 355 guineas that would come to be known as the Chandos Portraitsupposedly of Shakespeare. While the authenticity is dubious, according to curator Dr. Tanya Cooper, we know its from the correct period. The implications of his earring are bohemian, combined with a sign of prosperitythe black clothing. Being the only portrait that may have been done from life, well never know for sure after such passage of time with no documentation of provenance.

However, we also have the copperplate engraving from his collected works from 1623, the First Folio. The artist, Martin Droeshout, created the portrait seven years after Shakespeares death. The third likeness is that of the statue where he is buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, executed by mason Gheerart Janssen, also in 1623. Between these three portraits we have an idea of how Shakespeare may have appeared, but that we dont really know what he looked like, which parallels our unclear understanding of his life as well.


Quicklet on Bill Bryson's Shakespeare

+ About the Book: The Illustrated And Updated Edition

+ About Bill Bryson

+ Overall Summary

+ Chapter-by-Chapter Commentary & Summary

+ …and much more
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