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.
Knowing I loved my books, he furnished meFrom mine own library with volumes thatI 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.
In the second of a Five Books series marking the 400th year since the world’s most popular playwright’s death, eminent Shakespearean René Weis picks his five favourite plays, and explains why King Lear will change your life.
Writing a traditional biography of Shakespeare is impossible, says Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro. But here he selects the best five books that tackle the life of the Bard.
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.
by Katherine Duncan-Jones & William Shakespeare
The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets
by Helen Vendler & William Shakespeare
All the Sonnets of Shakespeare
by Paul Edmonson, Stanley Wells & William Shakespeare
The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets
by Jane Kingsley-Smith
by Jen Bervin
Lucy Negro, Redux
by Caroline Randall Williams
The beauty of Shakespeare’s sonnets speaks to us down the centuries, their lines peaking out at us from the titles of famous books or enjoying outings at weddings or other romantic occasions. But they were not always regarded as perfectly-formed jewels, and the relationships they portray not as conventional as many of us presume. Here, Shakespeare scholar Scott Newstok talks us through books that help us learn more about Shakespeare’s sonnets, from the best introduction to the poems for students through to their afterlife and recent creative interpretations.