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Seeking Shakespeare

Lack of facts about Shakespeare seems merely to encourage biographers. Peter Ackroyd wisely tackles him through a social history of Tudor and Stuart England

By Erik Tarloff   October 2005

Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd? (Chatto & Windus, £25)

In Search of Shakespeare by Michael Wood? (BBC Books, £8.99)

Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt? (Pimlico, £8.99)

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564 to a fairly prominent local family. He died in the same town 52 years later on another April day (probably the same day). In between, he attended the local grammar school, married a pregnant woman eight years his senior, fathered a number of children, moved to London, worked as an actor in a number of theatre companies, wrote plays, speculated in…

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