Bard of Avon

Bard of Avon : Story of William Shakespeare

4.1 (348 ratings by Goodreads)
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William Shakespeare was the son of a glovemaker, a small-town boy with a grammar school education. Yet he grew up to become the greatest English-speaking playwright in the world. Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare is both his story and that of a great art rediscovered in the modern world.Drama had been forgotten since the days of ancient Greece, but it reemerged in Elizabethan London with the building of the first modern theater. Its impact can still be imagined today. There were the theaters, open to the weather and featuring neither sets nor curtains, but equipped with dramatic special effects. There were the companies of actors--the leading men, the comedians, the boys who played women's roles--and the playwrights who gave them all lines to say.Best of all, there was William Shakespeare, who rubbed shoulders with noblemen and royalty as well as with the rowdy crowds at the foot of the stage. He was suspected of involvement in a treasonous rebellion, and his last play literally brought down the house when cannon effects set fire to the famous Globe theater and it burned to the ground.Award-winning collaborators Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema have once again created a feast of words and pictures to celebrate the life of a remarkable person from the pages of history: William Shakespeare, a man for all time."show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 44 pages
  • 230 x 272 x 6mm | 240.41g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • colour illustrations
  • 0688162940
  • 9780688162948
  • 130,171

Review quote

"This is a wonderful book." -- "School Library Journal" (starred review)"A remarkably rounded picrure of Shakespeare's life and rhe period in which he lived. A discerning, knowledgeable biography, rising far above rhe ordinary." -- "The Horn Book" (starred review)show more

Review Text

The authors of several handsomely illustrated historical biographies (Good Queen Bess, 1989) take on an unusually demanding subject with intelligence, scrupulous regard for the historical record, and a wise eye to the interests of their audience. Emphasizing how little is known for sure about Shakespeare, they phrase their straightforward text to make admirably clear the boundaries of fact and the bases for plausible conjecture, often commenting on what, interestingly, is not known ("No one knows when he left [Stratford for London] or under what circumstances"). Summarizing the mat significant events, they illuminate them with well chosen, often intriguing details and tell as much about the Elizabethan theater as about the playwright. Stanley's elegant illustrations are especially well suited to the topic; she uses details of Tudor architecture and costume to richly decorative effect, while her artfully structured compositions and somewhat stylized figures harmonize well with the theatrical topic. An excellent "Postscript" discusses the evolution of Shakespeare's English, his own inventions (e.g., "majestic," "leapfrog," "gloomy") and the continuing ubiquity of his vivid descriptions. Outstanding. Bibliography. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

348 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 36% (124)
4 43% (149)
3 18% (64)
2 2% (8)
1 1% (3)
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