Ignore the nonsense and the conspiracy theories--a fine exploration of the life of the Swan of Avon.
It is amusing to see the conspiracy-mongers attach themselves to a subject, and prattle nonsense endlessly to hide the fact that they have no evidence--merely lunatic conjecture. An endless declaration of the "Shakespeare's plays were written by the Earl of Oxford/Francis Bacon/Kit Marlowe/Your Name Here" is that William simply did not have the LIFE necessary to write his plays. As Wood shows, this simply isn't true--Shakespeare's life included growing up in a virtual police state that could compare with Stalin's Russia or Mao's China in its relentless efforts to stamp out dissidents and encourage "rightthinking", very likely as a hidden member of the increasingly persecuted Catholic faith--seeing his father's meteoric rise and quiet fall in Stratford society--losing his only son at age 11--and meeting (and sometimes being related to) some of the most notorious individuals of Elizabethan England. Wood offers facts where they're available, and plausible theories backed up by circumstantial evidence where they're not. A virtual love letter to Shakespeare (in fact occasionally Wood's enthusiasm is a tad TOO overwhelming), England's lovely countryside, and theater in general, this series is an excellent biography/study of a man who while somewhat obscured by the historical record, is brilliantly illuminated in his poetry and plays.
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