BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: William Shakespeare: A Life - Garry O'Connor: Sceptre, pounds 6.99

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Perhaps closer to faction than biography, this 'Life' provoked controversy; by abstracting psychological (and thence possibly biographical) data from a deep reading of the plays, it produces a challenging and lively portrait. It is gratifying to come across a bardographer so boldly prepared to plug the gaps in the record: accept them if you will.