Out on 03 September 2020


Robert McCrum

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03 September 2020
256 pages

Intelligent, insightful and accessible, Shakespearean is an enthralling exploration of Shakespeare himself and how and why he remains so central to our lives today. Our guide is the acclaimed author and journalist, Robert McCrum.

McCrum is eternally fascinated by Shakespeare and in Shakespearean he sets out to explore the playwright's endless relevance in our lives. As he does so he paints a vivid and rich portrait of Shakespeare the man, his role in performance arts and the development of language as well as his enduring presence in politics, culture, identity, power, race and sexuality.

Is Shakespeare’s work really as prescient as it seems? And can it help us in these turbulent times?

Shakespearean is a remarkable book, an illuminating and personal journey that takes us to the heart of Shakespeare’s art and influence. From his account of the plays’ quintessential Englishness to his exploration of what he shrewdly terms their 'negligent ambiguity,' McCrum’s insights are hard-earned and deeply rewarding

James Shapiro

Shakespearean is a brilliant, wise, elegant and profoundly moving book - seamlessly combining literary criticism, history, biography and memoir. With great erudition and expertise, McCrum tours us through the many ages of the Shakespearean: the plagues and revolts of 17th-century England; the myths and controversies, devotees and detractors; the Shakespearean obsessions of a wonderful dramatis personae of authors including Jonson, Coleridge, Keats, Auden, Sondheim, Hughes and Waller-Bridge; and the continued impact of Shakespeare on our uneasy times. Beautifully written, inspired and inspiring: a captivating portrait of Shakespeare and ourselves

Joanna Kavenna, author of The Ice Museum