William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. To mark the 400 Anniversary of his death we have selected a number of books to help your children discover more about the life and works of the greatest playwright of all time.
A baby girl is abandoned, banished from London to the storm-ravaged American city of New Bohemia. Her father has been driven mad by jealousy, her mother to exile by grief. Seventeen years later, Perdita doesn't know a lot about who she is or where she's come from - but she's about to find out.
Discover a wealth of Shakespearean shenanigans over the years, including the terrible behaviour of the groundlings at Shakespeare's Globe, how the 'rude mechanicals' in A Midsummer Night's Dream got recast as a bunch of ladies from the WI, and how Dame Maggie Smith got even with Sir Laurence Olivier.
A fascinating portrait of life in Shakespeare's London, seen from the theatrical perspective, by popular historian, Catharine Arnold. Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard's own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist's eye for detail with a historian's grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. This is a portrait of Shakespeare, London, the man and the myth.
Four hundred years after Shakespeare's death, it is difficult to imagine a time when he was not considered a genius. But those 400 years have seen his plays banished and bowdlerized, faked and forged, traded and translated, re-mixed and re-cast. Shakespeare's story is not one of a steady rise to fame; it is a tale of set-backs and sea-changes that have made him the cultural icon he is today. This revealing new book accompanies an innovative exhibition at the British Library that will take readers on a journey through more than 400 years of performance. It will focus on ten moments in history that have changed the way we see Shakespeare, from the very first production of Hamlet to a digital-age deconstruction. Each performance holds up a mirror to the era in which it was performed. The first stage appearance by a woman in 1660 and a black actor playing Othello in 1825 were landmarks for society as well as for Shakespeare's reputation. The book will also explore productions as diverse as Peter Brook's legendary A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mark Rylance's 'Original Practices' Twelfth Night, and a Shakespeare forgery staged at Drury Lane in 1796, among many others.Over 100 illustrations include the only surviving playscript in Shakespeare's hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, and rare printed editions including the First Folio. These - and other treasures from the British Library's manuscript and rare book collections - will feature alongside film stills, costumes, paintings and production photographs.In this book ten leading experts take a fresh look at Shakespeare, reminding us that the playwright's iconic status has been constructed over the centuries in a process that continues across the world today.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. There has been a veritable tsunami of new titles issued by publishers to celebrate (or exploit) Shakespeare's 400th anniversary; at least we appear to have been spared a Hamlet, Detective or a series featuring Shakespeare as an Elizabethan sleuth (or maybe I should copyright those ideas?). But this collection of interlocking novellas set in the fantasy world of the Bard and featuring some of his more endearing characters is a surefire winner. Revel in the new, hitherto untold adventures of Puck, Miranda, Prospero, Helena and other timeless favourites in the domain of fairies, witches, real magic and phantasmagorical potions from the enchanted pens and minds of Emma Newman, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Jonathan Barnes and others. It will make you want to revisit the actual plays and marvel at how the authors have revived what might have happened between the lines. Ingenious and alluring.
I was once lucky enough to see the late – and great actor Michael Bryant play Iago,his command of the text such that the whole play came alight - a reminder of how, without such brilliance, Shakespeare can be frustrating and boring for modern day audiences. 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare death and in place of such magical acting Geoff Spiteri enlightens us on Shakespearian language and euphemism, the construct of the plays,the plots and the characters. This short volume emphasises Shakespeare's humour and rudery, reminding us of his influence on our language with his words, magic and poetry. Geoff Spiteri's opening words are Does Shakespeare matter? Any doubts will be scattered by A Smidgeon of Shakespeare. Like for Like Reading. A Little Bit of Shakespeare Wit by Edward Green. The Shakespeare Book
* One of Shakespeare's relatives was executed for plotting against Elizabeth I. * There are more than 80 records of Shakespeare's name. Not one of them says 'William Shakespeare'. * Shakespeare once played the ghost in Hamlet. * Shakespeare wore a gold earring in his left ear.
We know little about the early life of William Shakespeare, but do know that at 18 he married Anne Hathaway and had three children, Susanna and then twins Hamnet and Judith. His son, Hamnet died in childhood.
By 1592 he had moved to London and was working as an actor and playwright, and part of an acting company which later became known as the King's Men. This company had interests in the Globe Theatre on the Southbank and the Blackfriars indoor theatre, and by 1594 Shakespeare's playwrighting began in earnest. He was a prolific writer, producing around two plays a year, he prospered and his reputation grew.
His early plays were mostly histories and comedies - Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry VI, The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III amongst others. By early 1600 he was writing some of his greatest tragedies such as Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear.
Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life living in New Place in Stratford and died on 23 April 1616 at the age of 52. He was buried two days later in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford and is also commemorated in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.
Known as the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare is widely accepted to have been the greatest playwright of all time and his poems and plays are studied and performed all over the world.
To mark the anniversary there are numerous events including :
The Complete Walk with The Globe Theatre : A walk along the Thames celebrating scenes from Shakespeare's plays.
Shakespeare400 : A rich variety of exhibitions and talks on theatre, manuscripts, archaeology and artifacts from Shakespeare's world.
And performances across the capital and beyond at The Globe, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall - find out more here.