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This weekend marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and though his exact birthdate is unknown, it has traditionally been held that he was born on the same date. Celebrate his birth and death day with these ten books about his life, work, and legacy.
1. Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare by Jonathan Bate
Modeled on Shakespeare’s seven ages of man from As You Like It, Soul of the Age traces the Bard’s life from first breath to posthumous legacy. It’s more speculative than your average biography. Bate not only presents the known facts of Shakespeare’s life, but delves into the unexplored depths of his mind, making inferences and raising possibilities that will intrigue fans of the famous playwright.
2. Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates
This remarkable memoir chronicles the unlikely friendship between Shakespeare professor Laura Bates and convicted murderer Larry Newton. While Newton was trying to break out of supermax (not for the first time), Bates was trying to start a program to teach Shakespeare to inmates. Shakespeare Saved My Life proves the power of education and the universality of Shakespearian themes.
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