Peter Ackroyd: Seeing Shakespeare before you

Peter Ackroyd, prolific novelist and biographer, includes among his previous subjects Charles Dickens, Thomas More and William Blake. In approaching Shakespeare, he draws on biographical records that are notoriously threadbare, but he has placed our greatest writer in the context of a vividly recreated Elizabethan and Jacobean world.

"I approached this in the way I have done all my other biographies: by reading everything available on the life and career, and trying to make sense of it. Not by looking at it academically, but by imagining the life in as sympathetic manner as I could.

"The ...

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