The Shakespeare Almanac: Curious Facts and Strange Wonders through the Seasons of the Bard's Life

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9780091926199: The Shakespeare Almanac: Curious Facts and Strange Wonders through the Seasons of the Bard's Life

Lovingly compiled by one of the great Shakespearians of his generation, a sumptuously illustrated cornucopia of intriguing and wonderful details about the life and times of England's greatest playwright An incredible day-by-day calendar of Shakespeare's year, this resource coversthe family occasions, changing seasons, local customs, and global events that made up his world, illustrated with quotations from his plays and poetry. It follows the rural farming cycle of lambing to sheep-shearing to harvest home, as they are referred to in Shakespeare's plays and poetry, and it all the holidays, from Christmas to Easter, Candelmas to Hocktide. Every month is supplied with quotations from the plays about changeable weather patterns, or the flowers and plants as they appear, as well as the animals and birds he saw around him. Each day, significant events during Shakespeare's lifetime are recorded. Family occasions include the christening of his twins, the marriage of one of his daughters, or the date when he bought his house in Stratford. There are eye-witness accounts of duels and executions, an accident at a bear baiting, a masque at Whitehall. Some days are accompanied by extracts from influential books of the period. For example on January 24, reputedly the gloomiest day of the year, there is a surprisingly funny piece from Burton's Anatomy of Melancholia. There are also accounts of discoveries around the globe and portraits of the Shogun of Japan, the murderous Czar of Russia, and elephant fights with the great Moghul Emperor Akbar.

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About the Author:

Gregory Doran is chief associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was called "one of the greatest Shakespearians" by the Financial Times and "surely the best director working on Shakespeare today" by the Daily Telegraph.

Review:

"An extraordinary feat of research and scholarship that has taken its creator 10 years to complete."  —Stage

"Refreshingly different."  —Stratford Observer

"High production values, a feast for the eyes."  —Times Literary Supplement

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