The Shakespeare Companion

Rhiannon Guy, Author, Emma Jones, Author Robson Books $15 (157p) ISBN 978-1-86105-913-0
Brush up on Bardolatry with this informative and entertaining book about everything Shakespeare. From statistics about his plays and sonnets, like the shortest and longest plays (The Comedy of Errors and Hamlet, respectively) or word use frequencies (""love"" appears 2,291 times; ""hate,"" 186; ""death,"" 961; ""life,"" 924; ""the,"" 27,457), to Shakespeare's influence on Star Trek episodes, this amusing volume puts a galaxy of Bard arcania at readers' fingertips. Its punchy entries are not arranged in any logical order, and the index, while helpful, is incomplete. The short book's simple layout and amusing text, however, make it fun to browse. Recurring sections cover areas like the cases for other possible authors who might be the playwright known as Shakespeare and quotes from other famous authors on his impact. Even the space around each page number serves as a place for trivia (page 16: ""Year, in the 1600s, in which Shakespeare died."") While some of the book's humor fails, the quirky facts are brilliant. This book makes a fine companion for teachers looking to spruce up lessons on the Elizabethan playwright, and for anyone who wonders what ""Lipsbury pinfold"" means.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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