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William Shakespeare was born at Stratford upon Avon in April, 1564. He was the third child, and eldest son, of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. Little is known of Shakespeare’s early life; but it is unlikely that a writer who dramatized such an incomparable range and variety of human kinds and experiences should have spent his early manhood entirely in placid pursuits in a country town. There is one tradition, not universally accepted, that he fled from Stratford because he was in trouble for deer stealing, and had fallen foul of Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magnate; another that he was for some time a schoolmaster.
When Shakespeare died fourteen of his plays had been separately published in Quarto booklets. In 1623 his surviving fellow actors, John Heming and Henry Condell, with the co-operation of a number of printers, published a collected edition of thirty-six plays in one Folio volume, with an engraved portrait, memorial verses by Ben Jonson and others, and an Epistle to the Reader in which Heming and Condell make the interesting note that Shakespeare’s ‘hand and mind went together, and what he thought, he uttered with that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers.’
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare. First published in 1600, it is likely to have been first performed in the autumn or winter of 1598-1599, and it remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring and exhilarating plays on stage. Stylistically, it shares numerous characteristics with modern romantic comedies including the two pairs of lovers, in this case the romantic leads, Claudio and Hero, and their comic counterparts, Benedick and Beatrice.
A selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets read by some of Britain’s best actors including David Tennant and Juliet Stevenson. Tennant recorded his sonnets just after his recently acclaimed performance in Hamlet so the bard was very much on his mind! Abridged audiobook edition. Read by David Tennant, Juliet Stevenson, Anton Lesser, Maxine Peake, Stella Gonet and others. 1 CD. 75 minutes.