Paperbacks: Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson

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The Independent Culture

Although he notes that advocates of the mad theory that Shakespeare didn't write his plays include Looney, Silliman and Battey, Bryson plays a straight bat in this brief life of the Bard. Briskly written, impatient of all nonsense, this is a myth-busting exercise that – Bryson's forte – leads the reader gently through his travels in the archives to fix just what we really know of Will. The former sub-editor thrives amid the nitty-gritty of court rolls, manuscripts, and printshop methods.