Five Books has a series of interviews with world-leading Shakespeare scholars discussing the best William Shakespeare plays and the best books on William Shakespeare.
Disillusioned when forced to study him at school but ready to engage with Shakespeare plays again? Or do you already know your Hamlet from your Lear but are keen to explore more about the man? Even if you are completely new to Shakespeare, our interviews with the world’s foremost Shakespeare experts will set you on the right path.
Sir Stanley Wells, honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford, and General Editor of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare; Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University, and acclaimed expert of Shakespeare’s First Folio; and James Shapiro, Professor of English at Columbia University, and award-winning author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? and 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear.
We will continue to grow this series on Shakespeare plays and the best William Shakespeare books.
Knowing I loved my books, he furnished me
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.
(The Tempest, I. 2)
William Shakespeare has a strong claim to be the most influential writer of all time. But whose works influenced him? And how? Robert S Miola discusses the breadth of Shakespeare’s reading, the vexed question of how we can reconstruct what he read, and the staggeringly innovative ways that Shakespeare shaped his sources
Shakespearean scholar Emma Smith picks her five favourite plays of the Bard, and controversially argues that not only are some of his plays just too long, but also that the most moving moments in Shakespeare’s oeuvre are where we might not expect them
In our Shakespeare series, we ask experts to select their favourite plays from the Bard’s oeuvre. Here, preeminent Shakespearean scholar Sir Stanley Wells chooses five plays that best chart the evolution of the Bard of Avon during his 25-year career.
Are you longing to get your children as excited about Shakespeare as you are? There’s a lot of books out there to introduce kids to the Bard. Here, Natasha, a 10-year old living in Oxfordshire, recommends some of her favourite retellings of Shakespeare stories.