Shakespeare’s Language by Frank Kermode

On the 400-year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, we reach the end of our ‘Shakespeare 400’ week with a book that I would consider an adult version (not with any Iago-level smuttiness, just with long words) of the Tales from Shakespeare gem that we kicked the week off with. Through analysis of each…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard

We’re almost at the end of our ‘Shakespeare 400’ week, which will please those of you who feel as if you are standing in the yard of the present-day Globe and have needed to pee since Hamlet told Ophelia to ‘Get thee to a nunnery’ at Act 3 and your smart-arse mate has just reminded you that…

Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer

Onwards with this week’s ‘Shakespeare 400’ theme – a cracking book by the inimitable Germaine Greer. Poor Anne – such is the low-regard in which she is held by ‘Bardolaters’, that they seem to be in denial about the fact she ever even married their idol, in the way they only refer to her as…

What Happens In Hamlet by John Dover Wilson

To continue our ‘Shakespeare 400’ week, an 80 year-old study guide and a flashback to a painful English A-level exam, aka how English rugby legend Lawrence Dallagio almost ruined my life. Published in 1935, this book is an engaging insight into the Prince of Denmark and his woes. It takes the story of Hamlet from…

Shakespeare’s Britain by Jonathan Bate and Dora Thornton with Becky Allen

Next up in a week-long theme to mark the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, a book to transport you back to the Bard’s bad-smellin’, bear-baitin’, witch-huntin’ time. This book brings Shakespearean Britain to life through a range of objects linked to his plays. So, there are maps of 17th-century London showing the famous ‘wooden O’, rapiers of…

Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

To commemorate (some people are using the term ‘celebrate’ which seems a bit off!) the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, each day this week I will be posting about a book linked to the great Bard of Avon. Let’s be frank with each other. Many adults are scared of Shakespeare. I don’t…