Soul of the Age

By Jonathan Bate,

Book cover of Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare

Book description

“One man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”

In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bard’s own immortal list of a man’s…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Soul of the Age as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Critics argue that William Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him because he lacked the knowledge of classical myth and history basic to his plots and imagery. Jonathan Bates proves that the curriculum of the grammar school in Stratford-on-Avon provided an education sufficient to explain Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Bate reviews books in English and Latin that Shakespeare would have read and that created his rhetorical brilliance. 

I treasure Bate’s biography because my own background originated in a rural, agricultural setting outside the social and economic circles that usually produce academic types. Bates disproves the fallacy that only…

From Arlene's list on biographies that tell the truth.

A uniquely insightful literary scholar leads readers on a wonderfully rich ride through Shakespeare’s life, showing at each point how his experiences shaped his writing. No book brings the Bard so vividly to life, and none more masterfully shows how his work sprung from the turbulent world of Elizabethan England.

From Stephen's list on to understand Shakespeare and his times.

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