100 books like A Dead Man in Deptford

By Anthony Burgess,

Here are 100 books that A Dead Man in Deptford fans have personally recommended if you like A Dead Man in Deptford. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of No Bed for Bacon

Clarissa Pattern Author Of Airy Nothing

From my list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first saw Shakespearean text, I could not get how anyone related to things written so many centuries ago. It took me several years before my soul awakened to these words that now felt fresh, like they could have been whispered to me that very day by a best friend who understood all the pain and all the laughter of my life. Very little is known about the man himself leaving writers a lot of room to create their own version of Shakespeare. I know my Shakespeare is just that: my magical, enigmatic, wise Shakespeare. It’s exciting to see how others give him life in their own stories.

Clarissa's book list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right

Clarissa Pattern Why did Clarissa love this book?

Shakespeare’s plays can be very funny, (many of my friends disagree with this, but I swear by the goddess of Renaissance puns it’s true!), and this is a light, fluffy book that deserves a place on any bookshelf because it embraces silliness and turns it right up to eleven. Our Will’s key predicament is something everyone who has ever written can relate to, being certain you have a literary masterpiece locked up in your mind if only you can be left alone long enough to make it magically appear on the blank page. 

By Caryl Brahms, S.J. Simon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked No Bed for Bacon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shakespeare's in love, perchance, in this rollicking send-up of the Age of Elizabeth.

With an Introduction by Ned Sherrin.


Book cover of Dream Country

Clarissa Pattern Author Of Airy Nothing

From my list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first saw Shakespearean text, I could not get how anyone related to things written so many centuries ago. It took me several years before my soul awakened to these words that now felt fresh, like they could have been whispered to me that very day by a best friend who understood all the pain and all the laughter of my life. Very little is known about the man himself leaving writers a lot of room to create their own version of Shakespeare. I know my Shakespeare is just that: my magical, enigmatic, wise Shakespeare. It’s exciting to see how others give him life in their own stories.

Clarissa's book list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right

Clarissa Pattern Why did Clarissa love this book?

As someone who spends my happiest moments in entirely made-up places with people who, it pains me to write, don’t actually exist, I am obsessed with the wavy lines between the life we imagine and the life we live. And no one writes about that cloudy blue haze between reality and our interior world better than Neil Gaiman. Shakespeare is glimpsed in other parts of the epic Sandman saga, but it is in the stand-alone story A Midsummer Night’s Dream where he is the star. It is both delightful and disturbing in a way that Gaiman is a master of.

By Neil Gaiman, Kelley Jones (illustrator), Malcolm Jones, III (illustrator) , Colleen Doran (illustrator) , Charles Vess (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dream Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The third book of the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. In each of these otherwise unrelated stories, Morpheus serves only as a minor character. Here we meet the mother of Morpheus s son, find out what cats dream about, and discover the true origin behind Shakespeare s A Midsummer s Night Dream. The latter won a World Fantasy Award for best short story, the first time a comic book was given that honor. Collects THE SANDMAN #17-20.


Book cover of The Daylight Gate

Clarissa Pattern Author Of Airy Nothing

From my list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first saw Shakespearean text, I could not get how anyone related to things written so many centuries ago. It took me several years before my soul awakened to these words that now felt fresh, like they could have been whispered to me that very day by a best friend who understood all the pain and all the laughter of my life. Very little is known about the man himself leaving writers a lot of room to create their own version of Shakespeare. I know my Shakespeare is just that: my magical, enigmatic, wise Shakespeare. It’s exciting to see how others give him life in their own stories.

Clarissa's book list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right

Clarissa Pattern Why did Clarissa love this book?

I am secretly, or not so secretly now, in love with Jeanette Winterson. So I was very happy to discover that Winterson wrote a novel based on the 1612 Lancashire Witch Trials featuring an appearance by Mr. William Shakespeare. Not that this is a happy novel. It is brutal and made more horrific by the facts behind it, but that just makes it all the more enthralling to contemplate what humans are capable of doing to each other.

By Jeanette Winterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Daylight Gate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Utterly compulsive' Daily Telegraph
'A gripping gothic read' Sarah Hall, Guardian
'So seductive ... I was hooked' Independent

The Forest of Pendle used to be a hunting ground, but some say that the hill is the hunter - alive in its black-and-green coat cropped like an animal pelt.

Good Friday, 1612. Two notorious witches await trial and certain death in Lancaster Castle, whilst a small group gathers in secret protest. Into this group the self-made Alice Nutter stakes her claim and swears to fight against the rule of fear. But what is Alice's connection to these witches? What is magic…


Book cover of The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory

Clarissa Pattern Author Of Airy Nothing

From my list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first saw Shakespearean text, I could not get how anyone related to things written so many centuries ago. It took me several years before my soul awakened to these words that now felt fresh, like they could have been whispered to me that very day by a best friend who understood all the pain and all the laughter of my life. Very little is known about the man himself leaving writers a lot of room to create their own version of Shakespeare. I know my Shakespeare is just that: my magical, enigmatic, wise Shakespeare. It’s exciting to see how others give him life in their own stories.

Clarissa's book list on wherein a fictional Shakespeare enters stage right

Clarissa Pattern Why did Clarissa love this book?

I love anything that explores issues of identity, how we define ourselves and others. Throw in a subtle questioning of the ‘truth’ of our most treasured memories, and I am completely hooked. Jorge Louis Borges does all that in this irresistible short story where it is possible for a person to have access to Shakespeare’s memory. As wondrous as this sounds for scholars of Shakespeare’s work, the reality is actually much more mundane and troubling.

By Jorge Luis Borges, Andrew Hurley (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The acclaimed translation of Borges's valedictory stories, in its first stand-alone edition

Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of the twentieth century. Now Borges's remarkable last major story collection, The Book of Sand, is paired with a handful of writings from the very end of his life. Brilliantly translated, these stories combine a direct and at times almost colloquial style coupled with Borges's signature fantastic inventiveness. Containing such marvelous tales as "The Congress," "Undr," "The Mirror and the Mask," and "The Rose of Paracelsus," this edition showcases Borges's depth of vision and superb image-conjuring power.

For…


Book cover of The Secret Life of William Shakespeare: A Novel

Jessica Barksdale Inclan Author Of The Play's the Thing

From my list on to help you love William Shakespeare even more.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I taught Shakespeare’s plays all my teaching career, I stayed in my lanes: Hamlet, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear. As a poetry teacher, I used his sonnets as examples of metaphor and form, but never did I consider myself an expert. However, when the idea for my novel popped into my head, I realized I had some serious reading to do. Not only did I study the facts, I delved into the fiction. While some of these books came out during my writing and others after, I didn’t lose my interest, picking up whatever new Shakespeare book appeared. These are some of my favorites.

Jessica's book list on to help you love William Shakespeare even more

Jessica Barksdale Inclan Why did Jessica love this book?

One of the best ways to learn about a character is to listen to what other characters say (or think) about him, in this case, Shakespeare. As with Hamnet, much of this book focuses on Anne Hathaway, and we learn about Shakespeare as a very young man making his way in the world—not only as a writer—but as a lover and husband. Once in the writing world, we see the ripple effects of his writing, as fellow playwrights Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson provide their perspectives. A great look into Shakespeare and Elizabethan England.

By Jude Morgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of William Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The greatest writer of them all, brought to glorious life.

How well do you know the man you love? How much do you think you know about Shakespeare? What if they were one and the same? He is an ordinary man: unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. And he is also a genius. The story of how a glove-maker from Warwickshire became the greatest writer of them all is vaguely known to most of us, but it would take an exceptional modern novelist to bring him to life. And now at last Jude Morgan, acclaimed author of…


Book cover of A Treasury of Shakespeare's Verse

Cassia Hall Author Of Songs of Love & Longing: Poem & Songs from the Seasons Cycle

From my list on romantic fantasy poetry to make you swoon and sigh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up loving the works of Shakespeare and the Romantic poets. Now I write romantic fantasy with a lyrical, fairy-tale vibe. The Seasons Cycle is a spin-off series from my main Lake Traveler saga. My poetry includes Poems of Myth & Magick, and Songs of Love & Longing. I compose songs and background music for key scenes in my stories. My music has been described as GoT meets LoTR with a lyrical twist and a musical theatre vibe. You can check out my songs and instrumental pieces on my youtube channel and my music website.

Cassia's book list on romantic fantasy poetry to make you swoon and sigh

Cassia Hall Why did Cassia love this book?

This book is a beautifully illustrated work of art. I absolutely adore the well-chosen excerpts from some of the Bard's most famous plays, including his fantasy ones (The Tempest and Midsummer Night’s Dream). This book contains some of the most beautiful passages in the English language. If you love the language of Shakespeare, you will swoon over this book. I do every single time.

By William Shakespeare, Emma Chichester Clark (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Treasury of Shakespeare's Verse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

An engaging introduction to Shakespeare, this lyrically llustrated anthology has been carefully edited to be accessible both to older children and teenagers. More then 200 short gems of verse, arranged in thematic sections -- heroics and love, good and evil, fun and frolic, magic and mystery -- capture the rich, powerful language and imagery of Shakespeare without overwhelming the reader who is new to Elizabethan poetry. A beautiful book that the whole family can treasure. Includes index of plays and first lines.


Book cover of Monogamy

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a classically trained Shakespearian actor who has spent a lifetime researching Tudor and Stuart times, imbibing their language, customs, and idiosyncrasies. As an actor, I'm trained to get inside my characters' heads and dedicate myself to their intentions. Also, as an actor, I've come to relish language and recognize what makes a good phrase, paragraph, and/or book. I not only perform the Bard, but I've also taught his rhetorical stylings to countless people. I love language and admire writers who use it elegantly. They say, "Write what you know." I know Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era inside and out. One's life can be changed by a book; the ones I've recommended have changed mine.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin love this book?

I loved this book for its humanity and the language she used to pithily emphasize characters and situations. There was not an excess word employed. She compassionately realized every character and gave them wisdom, angst, and a tragic sense of loss. I found it utterly absorbing and have reread it several times.

By Sue Miller,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Monogamy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Book of the Year
DAILY MAIL 'BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR TO GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS'
SUNDAY EXPRESS' S MAGAZINE 'WINTER WARMERS'
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'BEST BOOKS OF 2020' ONLINE

'One of the most emotionally truthful novels I have ever read' DAISY BUCHANAN
'Almost every line glows with even-handed wisdom - a superb novel, beautifully put together' DAILY MAIL
'An invaluably moving book' JULIET NICOLSON
'One to read first for the story and then to re-read at leisure and marvel at how real these people feel' ERIN KELLY
'Penetrating, intelligent, humane, funny too ... Smart and powerfully alive'…


Book cover of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a classically trained Shakespearian actor who has spent a lifetime researching Tudor and Stuart times, imbibing their language, customs, and idiosyncrasies. As an actor, I'm trained to get inside my characters' heads and dedicate myself to their intentions. Also, as an actor, I've come to relish language and recognize what makes a good phrase, paragraph, and/or book. I not only perform the Bard, but I've also taught his rhetorical stylings to countless people. I love language and admire writers who use it elegantly. They say, "Write what you know." I know Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era inside and out. One's life can be changed by a book; the ones I've recommended have changed mine.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin love this book?

Every time I wade into a play or see a production, I discover the language that describes the human condition perfectly. Pithy moments of insight juxtaposed and embedded in meaningful testimonies of why we do the things we do. As a writer, I believe there is no better teacher of the magic of the English language.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Complete Works of William Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ebook contains Shakespeare's complete plays and complete poems in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. This is the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' collects all thirty-seven of the immortal Bard's comedies, tragedies, and historical plays in a Collectible Edition. This volume also features Shakespeare's complete poetry, including the sonnets. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Shakespeare's enduring literary legacy again and again.


Book cover of Shakespeare the Man

Jacopo della Quercia Author Of License to Quill: A Novel of Shakespeare & Marlowe

From my list on understanding the dark side of Shakespeare's world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I prefer to write historical fiction because so many fascinating stories have already happened in the past, and these tales are filled with real-life characters with rich backstories and personalities. I try to find the best historical figures and scenarios I can through exhaustive research and then stitch them together into thrillers that mesh seamlessly with the history I researched. My books are written to educate and entertain, and nothing makes me prouder than when readers follow the breadcrumb trails I leave behind for further research. I hope you enjoy the hunt!

Jacopo's book list on understanding the dark side of Shakespeare's world

Jacopo della Quercia Why did Jacopo love this book?

Shakespeare the Man is not the best book out there on William Shakespeare. There are many others that are better researched and less opinionated. However, Rowse gave me the best impression of what Shakespeare has meant to centuries of dramatists and researchers. It was recommended to me by the late Dr. John M. Bell of NYU, who was the most knowledgeable man on Shakespeare I've ever known. I see why he recommended this. It's a short but thorough read, and very enjoyable. Just don't treat Rowse's every word as gospel. His book is about Shakespeare, the man and myth.

By A.L. Rowse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shakespeare the Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A leading historian probes into Shakespeare's background and creative genius in an attempt to create a portrait of the Elizabethan


Book cover of A Tip for the Hangman

Katie Crabb Author Of Sailing by Orion's Star

From my list on historical books that aren’t about kings or queens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a librarian and a writer with a passion for history and challenging the narrative, because sometimes, the things the history books tell us aren’t the whole story. After all, history belongs to the victor, doesn’t it? Finding and writing stories that explore historical lives beyond royals and the wealthy is what I love, and I’m always looking for more books that do this. I started reading historical fiction as a child, delving into things like the Dear America and American Girl series, that told the stories of everyday people in these grand moments of history, and reading those books inspired me to write my own.

Katie's book list on historical books that aren’t about kings or queens

Katie Crabb Why did Katie love this book?

This book, set during the Elizabethan period, tells the intrigue-filled story of Christopher (or Kit) Marlowe as he agrees to be a spy for the Queen of England in order to make the money he needs to become a playwright. I know what you’re thinking. This does involve a monarch, but it’s very much about what happens when a desperate man makes a deal with powerful people to achieve his dreams, and ends up in trouble. If you know what happened to the famous playwright who was Shakespeare’s peer before his death (or what likely happened to him), you know what I mean. This book is a thriller, but is at its heart a love story about a man in love with his art and his best friend, and his struggle to choose between them. 

By Allison Epstein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Tip for the Hangman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Elizabethan espionage thriller in which playwright Christopher Marlowe spies on Mary, Queen of Scots while navigating the perils of politics, theater, romance—and murder.

England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe's last year at Cambridge, he is approached by Queen Elizabeth's spymaster offering an unorthodox career opportunity: going undercover to intercept a Catholic plot to put Mary, Queen of Scots on Elizabeth's throne. Spying on Queen Mary turns out to be more than Kit bargained for, but his salary allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years he becomes the toast of London's raucous theater scene. But when…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in William Shakespeare, the Elizabethan era, and Victorian?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about William Shakespeare, the Elizabethan era, and Victorian.

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