William Shakespeare/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about William Shakespeare.
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See William Shakespeare/Works

Biography and criticism

  • Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun (1964). Fictionalised biography
  • Anthony Burgess, Shakespeare (1970). Biography
  • Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World (2004). Biography
  • Bertram Fields, Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare (2005)
  • John Pemble, Shakespeare Goes to Paris: How the Bard Conquered France (2005)
  • Shakespeare on Film Bibliography (via UC Berkeley)
  • Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1999). Literary Criticism
  • Michael Wood, In Search of Shakespeare (2003) Historical background, BBC Books, ISBN 0-563-52141-4 (paperback). This work is a companion to the television series of the same title.
  • Peter Ackroyd, Shakespeare: The Biography *(2005). Biography
  • A. L. Rowse, Shakespeare the Man (St. Martin’s Press, revised ed. 1988). Biography
  • S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare, A Compact Documentary Life (Oxford U. Press, 1977). Biography
  • Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn (Harvest, 1947). This collection of criticism contains a classic essay on Macbeth.
  • J.D. Wilson, What Happens in Hamlet (Cambridge U. Press, 1970). Literary Criticism
  • P. Crittwell, The Shakespearean Moment and Its Place in the Poetry of the 17th Century (Vintage, 1960).
  • Helen Vendler, The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets (Belknap/Harvard, 1997). Essays on the prosody, diction, logical organization, etc., of each of the sonnets.
  • Marjorie Garber, Shakespeare After All (Pantheon, 2004). Essays on each of the plays.
  • William F. Friedman and Elizabeth S. Friedman, The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1957). A debunking, by military-intelligence cryptologists, of claims by Ignatius Donnelly and others that the plays contained encrypted messages about authorship and other topics.
  • Robert Matz, The World of Shakespeare's Sonnets (McFarland, 2007). Examines the contexts (social, class, sexual, racial, political, etc.) of the sonnets.