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William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare

  • 4 stars across 402 books
    William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford's grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585. Shakespeare's theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain's Company, which was renamed the King's Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars. Shakespeare's poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare's sonnets were probably written at this time as well. Records of Shakespeare's plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest. Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as 'the First Folio'.


    Publication Date


    1st October 2015

    Tales from Shakespeare

    Marcia Williams retells fourteen of Shakespeare's best-loved plays in her trademark witty, accessible style. Mu... More

    (10 reviews)
    12th February 2010


    (2 reviews)
    1st March 1999


    (1 review)
    23rd January 2014


    An improved, larger-format edition of the Cambridge School Shakespeare plays, extensively rewritten, expanded and produc... More

    (1 review)
    14th August 2009

    The Tempest

    The story of the Tempest, the magical storm that brings a royal party to justice on a savage island, is beautifully re... More

    (1 review)
    28th February 2019


    What is a living thing? Where do animals live? What do animals eat? How do they move and grow? Learn the answers to thes... More

    (1 review)
    12th May 2016

    Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Greatest Stories: Oxford Level 16: Shakespeare Stories

    Sebastian and Viola cause all sorts of trouble when they switch places in the romantic comedy Twelfth Night. Learn the h... More

    (1 review)
    2nd April 2009

    Julius Caesar

    Rome's greatest general, Julius Caesar, returns to the city celebrating a glorious victory. But among the cheering crowd... More

    (1 review)
    2nd April 2009

    King Lear

    Foolish and bad-tempered, King Lear divides the kingdom between his two wicked daughters, disowns his honest youngest da... More

    (1 review)
    31st May 2018

    Tempest, The

    A violent storm shipwrecks the King of Naples and his noblemen on what appears to be an uninhabited island. What the kin... More

    (1 review)
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