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30 Great Myths About Shakespeare

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 8:08 am EST

Despite being a household name for the best part of 450+ years, Shakespeare is still, very much, a man of mystery. Theories and compelling arguments may tell us he was uneducated, that he never set out to have his plays printed or that he hated his wife, but how do we know what is the truth? Armed with a set of legend-busting tools, Laurie Maguire and Emma Smith have selected thirty myths that have reached proverbial status and set out to explore and explode the truth behind the popular assumptions...

Was a real skull used in the first performances of Hamlet? Were Shakespeare's plays really Elizabethan blockbusters?

As Maguire and Smith demonstrate in 30 Great Myths About Shakespeare, it's nigh on impossible for us to really know the answers to questions such as these. And so they seek to steer the reader away from the well-known and often-repeated ideas about the man and his plays and, instead, equip us with the tools to assess the worthiness or the shortcomings of the historical material - or lack of it - provided, consider the impact of our personal opinions, and to think again about what has become familiar. With each myth investigated as self-contained story and presented in a clear and concise manner, kept short to focus the mind, the authors also include comparisons between attitudes of the day and present day culture, draw on previous biographies as well as Shakespeare's own work and take a look at the overall appeal of myths and why, as far as Shakespeare's concerned, they are just so plentiful!

A fresh, thoughtful and open-minded book that is written with wit and verve throughout, 30 Great Myths about Shakespeare is a must for anyone who thinks they know Shakespeare. Have a read and think again...

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