Shakespeare: His Work and His World
Illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Non-Fiction Picture Book
Ages 10 and up
Candlewick, 2001, 0-7636-1568
There is no doubt that Shakespeare told us a great deal about himself and his world through his plays. We can see for example how "dangerous" life was in those days and how political intrigues were a constant source of instability in the country. We also see what the great city of London and its people might have been like.
Michael Rosen uses descriptions of Shakespeare's life, his world, and his works to paint a wonderfully complex and graphic picture which is interesting and entertaining. In addition to the history side of things he also has written descriptions of some of Shakespeare's plays which will surely peak the interest of any budding young actor.
It is extraordinary to see how the author of this book uses his considerable knowledge to show us this great playwright's world. By using quotes from Shakespeare's own plays the author is able to piece together all sorts of information about what Shakespeare's own life might have been like. Written in a convivial conversational style complete with lots of questions and answers, the author draws us into Shakespeare's story and helps us to see how truly remarkable this playwright, and his times were.
Robert Ingpen's illustrations are luminous and full of wonderful details. They provide a perfect backdrop to the text and they include scenes of London and theatrical life, diagrams of the Globe Theatre, and pictures of scenes from Shakespeare's plays.
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