Shakespeare: The World as a Stage (Eminent Lives)

by Bill Bryson | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9780007197903 Global Overview for this book
Registered by TracyW on 1/16/2010
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by TracyW on Saturday, January 16, 2010
WELCOME TO Shakespeare: The World as a Stage INTERNATIONAL BOOK RAY

This ray is CLOSED.
This is how it works:

  • If you wish to be added to the list, please PM me with your details.
  • Note that you must be prepared to mail internationally.
  • You will be sending the book to the person who appears after you in the list, so you need to PM them to get their address!
  • It's not a race, but please read and send the book on as speedily as you can, other people are dying to read it too.
  • Please journal the book once you have received it (so we all know where it currently is) and again when you have read it (so we know what you thought of it!)
  • If you're the last person on the list (i.e. we run out of members), the book is yours to do with as you chose, pass it on to a family member, start another bookray or bookring, release in the wild, keep on your shelf, your choice.


Current members:
tracyw
wickedlazy
shovelmonkey1
mafarrimond
marcthomas - has book now
silvia-pco

Thanks guys for keeping this going so nicely!

Interesting read, with good humour in it. Bill Bryson manages to be amused by his subject and by many speculations on Shakespeare's life, I like the noting that many works start off with speculating that Shakespeare could have gone to Italy, or could have gone to the North of England, or whatever other speculation, and then on the next page the "could" is dropped and the speculation is treated as certainty.
It is interesting that people want to fill in the details of Shakespeare's life so much, although on the other hand I suppose I should look to myself to understand this impulse as I've read this book too. I do wonder what difference it would make knowing, on the other hand this book makes me more puzzled about where Shakespeare's amazing language use came from.
This book also winds up with a good (well to me the non-specialist) demolishing of the claims that Shakespeare was merely an actor who served as a front for some other author. It is interesting the sorts of things that many people have considered evidence, for example decrypting codes, etc. I suppose it's an impulse to try to see beyond the surface of things and work out what is really going on, similar to what drives scientists, but without a good scientist's ability to properly test the hypotheses and discard the ones that don't bear out.




Journal Entry 2 by TracyW at NSS, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, February 15, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (2/15/2010 UTC) at NSS, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

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Sent to wickedlazy for the bookray.

Journal Entry 3 by wickedlazy from Wickford, Essex United Kingdom on Thursday, February 18, 2010
Safely received tonight, thanks very much Tracy

Journal Entry 4 by wickedlazy from Wickford, Essex United Kingdom on Thursday, February 25, 2010
A great Bill Bryson - writing, as always, was witty, authoratitive and clear. Bill told me lots about Shakespeare - NOT! I had no idea that so little was known about him, and that many books about him presenting "facts" were actually not much more than educated guesses. Don't let that put you off this book though - if you like BB you will enjoy this.


Journal Entry 5 by wickedlazy at Bookring, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases on Monday, March 01, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (3/6/2010 UTC) at Bookring, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases

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CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Going off to shovelmonkey1 at the weekend.

Journal Entry 6 by shovelmonkey1 from Penge, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Received today via Dana my trusty office courier and friend! Thanks Dana! And thanks to wickedlazy for sending this on. I've started reading it already so it will be off travelling again fairly soon.

Journal Entry 7 by shovelmonkey1 from Penge, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 10, 2010
(Left) Shakespeare.... maybe?
Well, that was a quick and easy read, very pleasant too. So to quote wickedlazy I too learned loads about Shakespeare - NOT! Having being forced to study him for A-Level English and worship at the alter of Shakespeare like a good student I was also suprised how little is known about him. My best memory of learning about Shakespeare was being asked to write an essay on the use of natural symbolism in "A Winters Tale". Being a slightly cocky and beligerent teenager I turned in an essay entitled "Why Shakespeare is literatures greatest plagiarist", obviously this was not well received but having read this book I think some of my points were pretty salient.

This book essentially poses more questions rather than answers; Was Shakespeare gay? Did he really wear an earring? How should we really spell his name? Where was he a lot of the time? What's up with only leaving your Mrs a 2nd rate bed?

I suppose the answer nowadays is who really cares apart from some very obsessed academics? The main thing is to appreciate the legacy we were left and to use the words he created to the fullest!

Released 9 yrs ago (3/10/2010 UTC) at A non-bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

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Now on it's way to Mafarrimond who is next on the reading list. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 9 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, March 13, 2010
I'm sure I will enjoy this. Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 10 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, April 02, 2010
I actually enjoyed this more that Bryson's travel books. It highlighted just how little is known about Shakespeare!

Journal Entry 11 by mafarrimond at Paris, Ile-de-France France on Monday, April 05, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (4/6/2010 UTC) at Paris, Ile-de-France France

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Moving on. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Journal Entry 12 by MarcThomas from Paris, Ile-de-France France on Monday, April 12, 2010
Got it in the mail this weekend. Thanks TracyW for organising the ray and thanks mafarrimond for sending the book from Wales. I have another ray book to read bedforehand but will get to it right next.

Journal Entry 13 by MarcThomas from Paris, Ile-de-France France on Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Started reading this morning.

Journal Entry 14 by MarcThomas from Paris, Ile-de-France France on Friday, April 16, 2010
A very intersting read. I liked the way the author presents the elements available and not available to decipher Shakespeare's life. Really good book.

PMing silvia-pco so the ray goes on.

Journal Entry 15 by MarcThomas at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (6/8/2010 UTC) at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom

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On its way to the next reader in England. Sorry for the delay in posting. I thought I had sent it already but obviously I hadn't.

Journal Entry 16 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Monday, June 14, 2010
It arrived safely today (in Portugal though, not England... :) ). I'm reading another book at the moment, but I'll pick up this one as soon as possible. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 17 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I never had much interest in knowing more about Shakespeare, and I confess I chose to read the book because it was written by Bill Bryson. I very much liked the way he addressed this subject; I don't know other works on Shakespeare's life and career, but it seems to me that many of them aren't very impartial and turn theories into truths. I think that Bryson succeeded on staying away from that tendency, and was funny and witty as always.

Thanks for sharing, TracyW. Being the last one on the ray, I plan to send the book along as a RABCK. I'll let you know when I do so.

Journal Entry 18 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I decided to offer this as a Ray instead of giving it off as a RABCK.

List of participants: (accepting entries! PM me if you want in!)

01. 6of8 (Maryland, USA)
02. salvami (Ireland)
03. oppem (Oregon, USA)
04. JoolsW (UK)

05. Esme-Weatherwax (Ireland)
06. GronnLivsstil (Norway) (INT'L) (was in 5th place, asked to be skipped, now last on the list)

Guidelines (based on JennyC1230's)

1. When you receive book, please make a journal entry.
2. PM the next person on the list for their address.
3. After you read the book, tell us what you thought of it.
4. When you mail the book, make another journal entry to let us know.
5. I'll set the reading deadline as 2 months; I know what it feels like to have a huge Mount TBR and the struggle one does to keep up with the deadlines, so I'll be flexible here. If you are having trouble and need to keep it for a little longer, that's cool: just PM me or make a JE so that we can know it hasn't been forgotten.
6. If you see anyone on this list who is a known staller of bookrings please let me know that too!
7. If you're the last person on the list, you're free to keep it, continue the Bookray, start a Bookring... it's up to you!
8. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 19 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The book's on its way to 6of8! I apologize for taking so long to mail it out, things have been crazy during the past few weeks.

I hope you all enjoy the book! Happy reading!

Journal Entry 20 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Monday, October 25, 2010
An excellent biography of what we know -- and a lot more of what we don't -- about The Bard of Avon. A truly interesting book -- opened it for a quick peek intending to put it down until I finished my current read and ended up being captivated. Bryson's style is always so readable and enjoyable -- less of his characteristic humor here, where it is an actual biography -- and he covered all of the known facts plus all of the rumors and myths and legends that have grown up over time about who Shakespeare was or wasn't.

Did find one passage particularly fitting, for what it tells us about missed opportunities and the need for Book Crossing in Elizabethan times:

"... there remains an enormous amount that don't know about William Shakespeare, much of it of a fundamental nature. We don't know, for one thing, exactly how many plays he wrote or in what order he wrote them. We can deduce something of what he read, but don't know where he got the books or what he did with them when he had finished them."

Journal Entry 21 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Friday, October 29, 2010
Popped this in the mail to Salvami this morning. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Journal Entry 22 by salvami at Wexford, Co. Wexford Ireland on Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Thank you 6of8, I received this book this morning!
and Thank you silvia-pco for organizing the bookray :)
I'll surely enjoy reading this one.

Journal Entry 23 by salvami at Wexford, Co. Wexford Ireland on Saturday, January 08, 2011
First of all, I am truly sorry for keeping it so long...didn't mean to.. :(

I enjoyed this book very much, although I knew almost nothing about the mysterious playwright (okay, I love Romeo and Juliet the movie by Baz Luhmann. Have I ever read any of Shakespeare's works in my life? --well, none!..). Bryson's writing style and his wit kept me interested all the way through the book.

I already got oppem's address so I will send this as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 24 by salvami at Wexford, Co. Wexford Ireland on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (1/18/2011 UTC) at Wexford, Co. Wexford Ireland

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Now it is travelling. Again, sorry for keeping it long..

Journal Entry 25 by wingoppemwing at Hermiston, Oregon USA on Monday, January 24, 2011
Book arrived in today's post. Thanks salvami for sending my way. This looks like a book that might get read by both me & my husband (which is very rare)..

Journal Entry 26 by wingoppemwing at Hermiston, Oregon USA on Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Well, first my husband read it (which is highly unusual as we both like totally different kinds of books). He enjoyed the read & passed it back to me. I finished reading it today and found it to be a quick, enjoyable read... not surprising I guess as up to now have liked everything I have read by Bill Bryson.
As had been noted frequently in passed journals - I learnt a lot (NOT) about Shakespeare. I am a Shakespeare lover (with a capital L) & have tickets to see Macbeth in Stratford when over there.. But I was also totally unaware just how much we seem to know about him is pure conjecture & speculation.....guess it shouldn't have come as such a surprise considering how far back in history we are going ... I had just never taken the time to put it all in context.
All in all a very good read.

I have contacted JoolsW for an address & will post on when receive it. As of now have not heard back & as I am leaving on Friday for 2 weeks vacation, am afraid that if don't hear today (in which case can get it to PO. tomorrow) it will have to await my return at end of February.. my apologise should this occur.

Journal Entry 27 by wingoppemwing at Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 17, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (2/15/2011 UTC) at Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom

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Managed to find a post office here in Hawaii & the book is now travelling back 'over the pond. Thanks for organising... Was a great read.

Journal Entry 28 by JoolsW at Haworth, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 24, 2011
I received the book safely yesterday - many thanks to Oppem for posting it from Hawaii!

Having read the previous journal entries I'm looking forward to NOT learning more about Shakespeare ; )

Journal Entry 29 by JoolsW at Haworth, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, May 02, 2011
I really enjoyed this book. I find Bill Bryson's writing intelligent and engaging. Although this one wasn't as funny as some of the other books I've read by him, it was interesting and well researched. I was amazed to realise how much of our 'knowledge' about Shakespeare is built on conjecture.

I've now PM'd GronnLivsstil and hope to get this book travelling again as soon as I receive a reply.

ETA: I have finally received a response from GronnLivsstil and she has asked to be skipped as she is busy with exams at the moment. Now sending a PM to Esme-Weatherwax.

Journal Entry 30 by JoolsW at Haworth, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (5/18/2011 UTC) at Haworth, West Yorkshire United Kingdom

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This book is now on its way to Esme-Weatherwax : )



Journal Entry 31 by Esme-Weatherwax at Limerick, Co. Limerick Ireland on Saturday, June 04, 2011
I look forward to reading this book. Thanks Jools for the postcards.

Journal Entry 32 by Esme-Weatherwax at Limerick, Co. Limerick Ireland on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (6/12/2011 UTC) at Limerick, Co. Limerick Ireland

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I lent this to a friend of mine before I read it due to the fact that I know I will not be able to read the book for awhile due to expecting a baby.
*note this release is back dated for I thought I had done a release note when I gave it to my friend. Also at the time of giving it to my friend I was the last person in the ray. It may be awhile before I get the book back.

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