Shakespeare: The World as a Stage - Bill Bryson

A truly good read! I liked this so much more than I was expecting. Knowing how little we actually know about the man I couldn't imagine how Bryson was going to pull this thing off. But, somehow, this is a truly engaging and informative read - perfect for the layman who is slightly more than casually interested in the life of Shakespeare. I felt it gave just the right about of information without being dull or pedantic. It isn't completely frothy either - although there is plenty of fun to be had here! Certainly the reader should expect that this isn't *truly* a Shakespearean biography - that would be impossible given the facts. What it is, however, is a mini guidebook through both the Elizabethan/Jacobean ages and the (often bizarre) world of Shakespearean scholarship. Anti-Stratfordians should be warned - you won't find much sympathy in these pages.