"So engrossing, clearheaded, and lucid that its arrival is not just welcome but cause for celebration." —Dan Cryer, Newsday
Stephen Greenblatt, the charismatic Harvard professor who "knows more about Shakespeare than Ben Jonson or the Dark Lady did" (John Leonard, Harper's), has written a biography that enables us to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life; full of drama and pageantry, and also cruelty and danger; could have become the world's greatest playwright. Bringing together little-known historical facts and little-noticed elements of Shakespeare's plays, Greenblatt makes inspired connections between the life and the works and delivers "a dazzling and subtle biography" (Richard Lacayo, Time). Readers will experience Shakespeare's vital plays again as if for the first time, but with greater understanding and appreciation of their extraordinary depth and humanity. A best book of the year: The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2004; Time magazine's #1 Best Nonfiction Book; A Washington Post Book World Rave ; An Economist Best Book ; A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book; A Christian Science Monitor Best Book; A Chicago Tribune Best Book; A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Best Book ; NPR's Maureen Corrigan's Best.